Malawi : Cassim Chilumpha declared out following High Court order

Cassim Chilumpha. Photo : Malawi24 / RR

NEWSROOM (ADV) – The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has announced removal of the country’s former Vice President, Cassim Chilumpha, from the list of presidential candidates in the May 21 elections.

A statement released Monday by the electoral body says the decision has come following the High Court order on April 11 that Chilumpha, who was declared duly nominated on the ticket of Tikonze People’s Movement (TPM), cannot continue to represent TPM as its presidential candidate.

“The facts of the matter are that TPM lodged a petition with the High Court of Malawi seeking an order that the candidate, Chilumpha, cannot rightfully represent it as a candidate for election as president of the Republic of Malawi,” reads the statement signed by MEC Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika.

“By judgment, dated 11th April 2019, the Court decided that Rt. Hon. Dr. Chilumpha, SC., cannot be on the ballot as a candidate sponsored by TPM on grounds that he was not elected as presidential candidate for TPM and was not being sponsored as such by TPM in the forthcoming Presidential election,” reads MEC’s statement.

Chilumpha is also faulted on the fact that the one who counter-signed the nomination papers was not authorized to certify that the former Vice President was being sponsored by TPM as candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.

“Pursuant to the requirements of the law that governs nomination of candidates for presidential elections, the implication of the above Court’s decision is that Rt. Hon. Dr. Chilumpha’s nomination has been rendered invalid,” continues the statement.

“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.”

With Chilumpha struck off the ballot paper, the number of contesting candidates for the presidency in the May 21 elections has now dropped to 7 from 8 after former president Joyce Banda withdrew from the race in March to support opposition Malawi Congress Party candidate, Lazarus Chakwera.

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