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Presidential Election Case: Constitutional Court Pleads For Peace

By Andrew Magombo

The High Court panel of five judges of the Constitutional Court sitting for the presidential elections case in Lilongwe has implored for peace and calm in the country ahead of a ruling after finishing hearing the case on Friday.

Speaking on behalf of the panel at the end of oral submissions by all parties to the case, Judge President Hearly Potani appealed to all Malawians to accept and respect the court’s ruling.

Potani admitted that the case had brought novelty since its inception. All factors considered to this end, all parties to the case have expectations which need taming.

The judge pinpointed to the petitioners on the need to address their followers and sympathisers, particularly on accepting the outcome.

“I urge you petitioners to plead with your followers that this case can go either way. As such, it is important to have them enlightened that law and order are paramount at the end of the day,” said Potani.

He went further to reveal that the Constitutional Court is not the final berth in this case, saying there is also a Court of Arbitration.

The statements come hot on the heels of various campaigns by many stakeholders appealing for peace in the case irrespective of the determination of the court.

Recently, National Youth Director for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dyton Mussa appealed to the party youth to refrain from violence should the ruling be in favour of the petitioners.

This was in sharp contrast to alleged controversial remarks on acceptance of the court’s determination by National Director for Youth in the main opposition Malawi Congress Party, Richard Chimwendo Banda.

Chimwendo Banda asked the police to be ready for anything come the judgement day before going further with controversial remarks that they should ‘bid farewell to their families in advance’.

Meanwhile, the court will communicate in due course on the exact date for the ruling which is expected to be done within 45 days as stipulated in the Constitutional Laws of Malawi.

The Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe finished hearing the case on Friday in which Opposition UTM and MCP petitioned the court to annul results of the May 21 presidential election due to alleged irregularities.

In the election, Malawi Electoral Commission declared Peter Mutharika the winner.

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