Former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it has accepted the Constitutional Court judgement that threw out its bid for a review of the legality of the June 23 2020 court-sanctioned Fresh Presidential Election.
DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said in a statement on Saturday that DPP is a law-abiding institution and will now focus on regaining its lost glory while at the same time pushing government to address socio-economic issues affecting Malawians.
He said: “We accept the ruling. DPP as a party, we will move forward towards regaining glory and we are strongly sure that Malawians will vote us back into power come 2025.”
DPP sought the interpretation of the Constitutional Court on the legality of the fresh presidential election and subsequent parliamentary and local government by-elections presided over by a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) cohort that had four of its members fired by the High Court for not being duly appointed.
Effectively, the case had the potential to nullify the victory of President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima if the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court granted DPP its wish. However, the case was dismissed at preliminary stage as the court said it was a disguised appeal.
The court fired four commissioners sponsored by DPP, namely Arthur Nanthuru, Steve Duwa, Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.
While stressing that the party has decided not to pursue any other means to protest the ruling, Namalomba said the outcome of the case, however, does not mean things are well in the country.
He said the nine-political party Tonse Alliance administration should not rejoice over the court outcome since a majority of Malawians are not happy with so many unfulfilled campaign promises.
Namalomba said: “The ruling, however, does not mean that things are well in this country as you can see that many people went to the streets of Lilongwe to demonstrate against maladministration by the current regime.
“Prices of commodities continue to rise almost everyday while the people’s sources of finance continue to decrease.”
The case was the second in two years to put the country’s presidency on trial in connection with elections. During the first case, Chakwera and Chilima petitioned the court to overturn DPP president Peter Mutharika’s 2019 re-election over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system. The court rulled in their favour.
However, Mutharika maintains that the judgement was a “judicial coup”.