High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda yesterday reserved his decision on whether to allow private practice lawyer Ambokire Salimu to apply for judicial review in a case where he wants the court to stop Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) from holding further elections.
Salimu filed for leave for judicial review as a concerned citizen to influence electoral law reform that would make elected public officers answerable to promises they make during campaign period.
In particular, Salimu wants MEC to refer the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, Political Parties Act and Local Government Elections Act to the Law Commission for review to include an express statutory requirement that will demand the elected people to be legally bound by their promises.
The matter came for first hearing yesterday in Judge Nyirenda’s chambers where the two parties made their submissions before the matter was adjourned to a later date.
In an interview after the adjournment, Salimu said: “Right now, I am waiting for a yes or no on the judicial review which the judge will communicate at a later date.”
Salimu, who wants the court to grant him an ex-partes injunction stopping MEC from holding any other elections until several issues are clarified, said he believes that laws under which MEC conduct elections do not make any binding provision on those elected.
MEC lawyer Fatima Silungwe, in a case file seen by The Nation, stated that there are three grounds in which leave to apply for judicial review should not be granted to Salimu; Absence of specific decision, absence of arguable claim and existence of alternative remedy.