Malawi election agency seeks to suspend annulment of presidential vote

2020-02-07 18:22
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

Malawi's President Peter Mutharika. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

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Malawi's electoral commission is seeking to suspend a landmark court order that annulled last year's re-election of President Peter Mutharika, court papers showed on Friday.

The southern African nation made history on Monday when the top court ruled in favour of an opposition bid to cancel May's presidential election because of fraud allegations.

In the court papers, the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah sought an order "suspending the enforcement of the judgement of the Constitutional Court pending the hearing and determination" of an appeal.

The court ordered fresh election within 150 days.

But Ansah accused the Constitutional Court of acting in "excess of its jurisdiction".

She said organising elections required more time - at least 261 days.

"I... believe that by ordering the legislature to convene and pass (new) legislation, the court acted in excess of its jurisdiction and had infringed on the independence and immunity of parliament."

After marathon six-month hearings broadcast on public radio, the court on Monday declared that Mutharika was "not duly elected".

It cited what it called massive and widespread irregularities, especially the use of correction fluid on ballot sheets.

Mutharika has slammed the Constitutional Court decision but vowed to run in a fresh ballot ordered by the judges.

Read more on:    peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southern africa  |  malawi 2019 elections
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