The country’s former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha has given up on his bid to be on the presidential ballot paper in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections following Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) decision to strike him off the list.
MEC’s decision announced in a statement on Monday night followed a High Court judgement that Chilumpha could not represent Tikonze People’s Movement (TPM) in the race.
In an interview yesterday, Chilumpha, a lawyer, said the decision was “absurd and a mockery” to the country’s laws.
He said: “You see what the judge said in his judgement was that I am
not barred from contesting. He only said I could not represent TPM
based on the arguments that were made.
“But just a few days after that the electoral body has decided to bar me completely from standing in the elections. That speaks volumes of a conspiracy that has been going on.
“I do not have the muscle to fight two big government institutions; the court and MEC. Time and resources are not on my side. But the
bigger picture is that this kind of unfairness will someday haunt this country.”
In its statement signed by MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika the electoral body said Chilumpha would no longer be allowed to contest in the polls following the court judgement.
Reads the MEC statement: “Pursuant to the requirements of the law that governs nomination of candidates for presidential elections, the implication of the court’s decision is that the Right Honourable Chilumpha’s nomination has been rendered invalid.
“The commission has, therefore, struck off his name from the list of candidates duly nominated for election for the office of the President of the Republic of Malawi.”
While MEC stated that Chilumpha was second respondent and was served relevant court documents, the aggrieved candidate insists he was not communicated to about the case; hence, his side of the story was not heard.
TPM moved the court that Chilumpha’s nomination was not duly endorsed by the grouping which had endorsed UTM Party presidential aspirant and the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Printing of ballot papers is currently in progress in Dubai, but MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa yesterday said printing of presidential ballot papers was yet to began; hence, Chilumpha’s striking off will not affect the process.
Chilumpha’s exclusion from the list now leaves seven presidential aspirants from the initially approved nine. Former president Joyce Banda also pulled out from the race and endorsed Malawi Congress Party presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera. n