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Mec appeals elections case

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By Jameson Chauluka:

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has finally appealed the Constitutional Court’s decision to proceed hearing the case in which Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima are challenging May 21 presidential election results.

On Friday, the court refused to dismiss Chakwera and Chilima’s petitions as asked by the first respondent in the matter, President Peter Mutharika.

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Mutharika had asked the court to dismiss Chakwera’s application saying it was filed late, further saying Chilima’s petition was incurably defective.

The notice of appeal which The Daily Times has seen dated June 24 2019 says Mec wants the Supreme Court of Appeal to reverse the Constitutional Court’s decision and to strike out Chakwera and Chilima’s petitions.

Mec argues that the Constitutional Court erred in dismissing their applications and proceeding hear the case.

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“The learned Justices, sitting as a Constitutional Court, erred in law by holding that there is no requirement under our law for an election petition to be verified by a sworn statement when such requirement exists both at common law and under the Court (High Court) (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017.

“The learned Justices, sitting as a Constitutional Court, erred in law by holding that a petition is not a claim…and, therefore, does not require a sworn statement verifying it when, in fact, a petition is a claim…

“The learned Justices, sitting as a Constitutional Court, erred in law by holding that the petition had been paid for and that the petition had been filed in time in the absence of any proof of payment for the petition and preferring speculative hearsay evidence against cogent evidence,” reads the notice in part outlining grounds for the appeal.

MCP Legal Affairs deputy director, Larry Nita, said the party was yet to be served with the notice.

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