Malawi VP Chilima Drags President Mutharika to Court Over Refusal to Fire Ansah, Electoral Commissioners

25 March 2020

State vice-president Saulos Chilima, who is also the UTM Party leader, has commenced legal proceedings against President Peter Mutharika for failing to sack Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other commissioners who the Constitution court declared incompetent to manage an election.

Chilima takes Mutharika to court over his s arrogant refusal to fire Justice Jane Ansah and her fellow commissioners whose performance was found wanting by two organs of the State, the Constitutional Court and the National Assembly

President Mutharika last week said he would not fire the MEC commissioners when he rejected a recommendation from parliament's Public Affairs Committee and refused to assent to election-related bills that would have facilitated the holding of fresh presidential polls on May 19.

But Chilima is not taking the matter lying down, as he has sought for court relief to restrain MEC commissioners from discharging their duties in preparing for the fresh elections.

Lawyer for Chilima, Dr Chikosa Silungwe said they have filed with the court and they are waiting to hear on Thursday when the matter will heard.

UTM spokesman Joseph Chidanti Malunga said Chilima is asking the Court to determine whether it is lawful for Ansah to continue holding her position as chairwoman of theeectiral body "when the court and Parliament have clearly stated that she is incompetent."

Professor of law at University of Malawi's Chancellor College, Garton Kamchedzera, said in quotes reported by The Nation daily newspaper that the opposition political parties are free to return to the court and allege that enforcement of the judgement is being frustrated by one of the parties in the elections case who happens to be Mutharika.

He said: "Despite the relevant committee of Parliament finding the commissioners incompetent and making a recommendation that they be removed, Mutharika, a party to the case, has made a decision in his own cause, notwithstanding appealing against the judgement.

"He has decided to reject a recommendation from Parliament that stems from the judgement that has to be implemented. So, his decision to reject the recommendation could be set aside on that ground."

Meanwhile, enraged alliance partnersMalawi Congress Party and UTM Party have organised 'The Day of Rage' protests this Friday to exert enough pressure for the adamant group of commissioners to go.

More From: Nyasa Times

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