The High Court sitting as Constitutional Court has adjourned with the preliminary hearing of the case in which the Democratic Progressive Party-DPP wants the 2020 fresh presidential election results nullified.
The DPP is challenging the legality of the elections after the High Court in Lilongwe had ruled that four of the MEC Commissioners then were unlawfully appointed.
In the morning, the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda presented a number of arguments aimed at dismissing the case.
The first objection is on whether or not the High Court sitting as Constitution Court has powers to review the decision of another court.
According to Nyirenda, the High Court does not have powers to review the decision by another High Court Judge saying it only has powers to review decisions by subordinate or lower courts.
Nyirenda further added that the issues which the DPP is seeking interpretation on were already addressed by Judge Kenyata Nyirenda.
He told the court that if one is aggrieved by a decision by the High Court , he or she can appeal, and not commencing a fresh case in the High Court.
The second preliminary objection was on whether or not DPP has sufficient interest to commence the case.
According to Attorney General Nyirenda, it was supposed to be Peter Mutharika who was supposed to commence the proceedings.
Nyirenda said the DPP might be concerned with the decision by High Judge Kenyata Nyirenda but it does not have sufficient interest to commence the case.
He added that the DPP has not explained how the decision by Judge Kennyata Nyirenda affected the party but it is just making assumptions.
Further, Nyirenda said the DPP has not brought anyone affected by the decision by Kennyata Nyirenda.
Nyirenda has also told the court that the parties which DPP has sued are wrong parties.
DPP has sued President Lazarus Chakwera and the Attorney General.
According to Nyirenda, the decision DPP is challenging is a decision of a judge not the parties that have been sued.
The third preliminary objection raised by Nyirenda was whether or not the application by DPP is time bound.
Nyirenda said since DPP wants the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections to be nullified , the only way of doing that is filing a petition.
According to Nyirenda that petition or challenge should be done within seven days.
The fourth preliminary objection was on a question on whether or not DPP should be allowed to benefit from its wrong doing.
According to Nyirenda DPP appointed five commissioners to Mec when the law says you can only nominate three.
He said the decision was made in bad faith , so that other candidates should boycott the election.
The fifth preliminary objection which Nyirenda raised is on whether or not DPP commenced the case in a correct manner.
Nyirenda submitted that an election can only be challenged by way of petition.
“For example, if you want to go to New York, you can not board a train that goes to London.” says Attorney General Nyirenda.
He added that the petition is supposed to be filed to the court within seven days.
The Attorney General has based his argument on 7 grounds and the case is expected to resume at 2:30pm.
More details to follow..
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