Wilkins Mijiga, Willy Yabwanya seek arbitration
Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) losing presidential candidates, Willy Yabwanya Phiri and Wilkins Mijiga, will seek Court of Arbitration for Sports’ (CAS) intervention in Switzerland over what they call flawed Saturday’s elections that re-elected president Walter Nyamilandu.
Mijiga, who alongside Yabwanya on Friday successfully sought Fam Appeals Commitee’s intervention stopping the elections only for Blantyre High Court to vacate the injunction on Saturday, yesterday claimed to have written to Fam Electoral Committee chairperson, Justice Dingiswayo Madise, withdrawing from the race.
“We did not want to be part of a flawed electoral process. The appeals’ committee said the elections had to be suspended until the irregularities were sorted out. The whole process contravened the rule of soccer, which is about fairplay,” he explained.
“We are going to take this matter to the Court of Arbitration in Zurich. We cannot allow a leadership that breaks its own laws by not respecting the decision of its own Appeals Committee. We believe the decision of the Appeals Committee was final.”
Mijiga was referring to Article 12 of Fam Electoral Code Sub-section Four, which states that “the decision of the electoral appeal committee are final and may not be monitored by any government organ.”
Yabwanya confirmed seeking CAS’s intervention, adding, “If Fam upheld the decision of the Appeals Committee that I should stand, what is different now with the latest decision to postpone the elections?”
However, Article 68 of Fam’s statutes states that “CAS shall not, however, hear appeals on violations of the Laws of the Game, suspensions of up to four matches or up to three months, or decisions passed by an independent and duly constituted Arbitration Tribunal of Fam or confederation. “
Mijiga and Yabwanya sought the Appeal Committee’s intervention in respect of Article 13 of the code that “the final list of candidates shall be sent to all affiliates of the Fam general assembly and, where necessary, to the relevant government bodies no less than 15 days before the elective Fam general assembly is held.”
The voters’ roll was released on Thursday.
However, Madise yesterday said he was unaware of Mijiga’s withdrawal and that the elections were transparent, free and fair. Nyamilandu yesterday said the issue of elections was a closed chapter.
“Our duty was to conduct the elections and they are over. We will submit a report to Fam and Fifa that we have held the elections successfully. If the elections were flawed, the delegates could have boycotted the elections, but all the 36 electorates were there,” Madise explained.
Yabwanya and Mijiga’s protest to CAS may face a challenge considering that the statutes adds that “Fam shall have jurisdiction on internal national disputes i.e. disputes between parties belonging to Fam. Fifa shall have jurisdiction on international disputes i.e. disputes between parties belonging to different associations or confederations. “
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