The High Court in Blantyre will on Monday rule in a case presidential aspirant Ras Chikomeni David Chirwa dragged Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to court to seek redress following the rejection of his candidacy.
MEC rejected Chikomeni on February 6 after he failed to comply with the requirement to pay the presidential nomination fee of K2 million and raising 10 signatures in each of the country’s 28 districts. He only managed signatories from nine districts.
In their submission before presiding judge Jack N’riva yesterday, lawyers representing Chikomeni—Chikondi Chijozi, Mawuya Msuku and Oscar Taulo— said MEC needs to review the fee because it is exorbitant and infringes on their client’s right to participate in the electoral process.
Besides, the lawyers also submitted that the electoral body should extend time for the aspirant to obtain the required 10 signatures in all the districts.
The lawyers told the court that if granted an injunction, when reviewing the presidential nomination fee, MEC should consider the minimum wage to facilitate participation of ordinary Malawians.
But Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, who represented MEC, said Chikomeni had enough time to mobilise the signatures from the time MEC prescribed their conditions in July last year.
He also said there are some independent candidates that met the required conditions despite having no political party structures; hence, Chikomeni has no basis to argue that it is an uphill task for an independent candidate to organise the same.
The AG submitted that Chikomeni does not have a case and asked the court not to grant him the injunction he is seeking.
N’riva said he would deliver his ruling at 3pm next Monday.
But the judge referred the issue of obtaining 10 signatures for presidential candidates as presented in Chikomeni’s substantive arguments to the Chief Justice, saying it was a constitutional matter to be handled by a three-judge panel.