UTM leader Saulos Chilima has asked the Supreme Court to clarify its position on the recent presidential election case verdict in relation to the date of fresh elections.
Khumbo Soko, lawyer for Chilima on Friday confirmed that his client wants the court to clarify this matter.
“Our view is that the issue is not as clear from a fair reading of the judgment itself and a consideration of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act. But we want the court to clarify whether it is Parliament that must fix the date or MEC,” said Soko.
Quizzed whether it was also Chilima’s view that the electoral body could set date of the polls, Soko responded: “Looking at Section 48 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, yes.”
High Court and Supreme Court Registrar Agnes Patemba on Friday confirmed receiving the application in a separate interview but said she was yet to study the file to provide details.
“I have information that they have filed the application but I am yet to see the actual file” said Patemba.
The development comes amid fast unfolding developments on the political scene with Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), which had earlier indicated the elections will be held on July 2, announcing it had no powers to set an election date and asking Parliament to set the new date instead.
On Thursday, outgoing MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah met with Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament and agreed elections will be held on June 23.
Hours later, Ansah announced she was finally leaving her post at MEC, citing the rulings of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, which faulted the commission for mismanaging the elections.
The departure of MEC Chairperson means President Mutharika will have to appoint a new Chairperson from a crop of serving Supreme Court judges following recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission.
However, its effect on the application could not be immediately predicted.