Elections case management pleases Malawi Law Society
As hearing of the presidential elections case resumes Monday, after a week-long break, Malawi Law Society (MLS), which is one of the friends of the court—amicus curiae—in the high-profile case, has said the Constitutional Court has done very well so far in case management.
MLS president Burton Mhango told Malawi News that the society is satisfied with the pace at which the case is moving.
The court projected that it would conclude hearing the case by December 6 and that the judges would deliver their verdict within 45 days from the date of conclusion of the case.
“We feel that court has done very well so far in case management. Contrary to what was being speculated at the beginning that the case will take forever to conclude, the court has managed to fairly take control of the proceedings such that we could have the case concluded in December,” he said.
Mhango said the manner the court proceedings have been conducted for example by granting orders to allow the media to broadcast live the proceedings has created a situation that everyone who is interested could follow the proceedings.
He said this would also help people accept the judgement because the conduct of proceedings is transparent.
Friends of the court educate the court on points of law that are in doubt, gather or organise information, raise awareness about some aspects of the case that the might have missed.
Mhango said time will come for MLS as friends of court to address the court.
“However, as per procedure, during the proceedings, the court has been getting some submissions from all parties including friends of court on some sticky issues that have been coming up during the proceedings,” he said.
In the past 47 days, President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission lawyers, first and second respondents respectively, have cross-examined the two petitioners —Saulos Chilima of UTM and Malawi Congress Party’s president Lazarus Chakwera and their witnesses.
In the case, Chilima and Chakwera are seeking nullification of the presidential election results in May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and an order for a rerun.
The case, which started on August 8 2019, is being presided over by a bench of High Court judges Healey Potani, as Chairperson, Mike Tembo, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise and Redson Kapindu.
The case has also Women Lawyers Association as amicus curiae.