Supreme Court dismisses Mec
The Supreme Court of Appeal Thursday threw out an application by the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to vary the February 3 judgment of the Constitutional Court which nullified the May 21 2019 presidential elections.
This was the second time the application was thrown out in seven days after the High Court dismissed a similar plea last Thursday.
Among others, Mec wanted the Supreme Court to suspend or extend the 150- day period that the Constitutional Court directed that a fresh presidential election be held.
The determination essentially means that a fresh presidential election would still be held within 150 days, unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise in the main presidential elections appeal case.
When the court met in Lilongwe Thursday, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, said the judges of appeal would not listen to oral submissions from parties involved in the matter but would go straight to its determination.
Nyirenda argued that the judges had already thoroughly read the arguments and affidavits from the parties.
Presenting the determination Justice of Appeal Anaclet Chipeta said the court refused to grant that prayer because the issues in the application are the same with those in the main appeal, therefore the court did not want to be granting its determination in a piecemeal manner.
The court also ordered Mec to pay the cost incurred by parties in the case.
Lawyer for Malawi Congress Party, Titus Mvalo, said they were happy with the determination.
Mec on Wednesday suspended all electoral processes for the July 2 fresh presidential elections due to the impending lockdown announced by President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday night.
Last week, the High Court faulted the application by Mec, arguing it was made wrongly and advised the electoral body to appeal at the Supreme Court.
“The application is brought wrongly before this court as this court is the High Court of Malawi and not a subordinate court as envisage under the provisions under which the application has purportedly been made.
“A subordinate court under the said Act is clearly defined in Section 2 thereof as “any court subordinate to the High Court,” reads part of the judgment.
“Having regard to order 111 of the Supreme Court of Appeal rules made under the Supreme Court of Appeal Act which provides for the control of proceedings by the Supreme Court of Appeal states that: “After an appeal has been entered and until it has been formally disposed of the court shall be seized of the whole of the proceedings as between the parties thereto, and except as be otherwise provided in this order, every application therein shall be made to the court and not to the court bellow,” reads the judgement.
Mec spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the commission will come up with a position soon.