Legal experts fault Ansah on court ruling interpretation

Law experts have described Justice Jane Ansah’s interpretation of the Constitutional Court ruling as unreasonable.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson told delegates at the National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) meeting on Friday that the commission will apply the law as it stood in 2019 for the impending fresh presidential election.

“As it stands an earlier judgement by the Supreme Court of Appeal is binding than the recent judgement by a panel of five High Court judges,” said Ansah who is also Supreme Court of Appeal judge.

“The commission will use the First Past the Post System not the 50%+1 system for declaring a winner in a presidential election as ruled by the Constitutional Court.”

But writing on his Facebook page, renowned lawyer and Senior Counsel Dr. Cassim Chilumpha said the interpretation is “outrageous”.

He added that the interpretation does nothing than bringing the legal profession into disrepute.

“It is very unfortunate that my learned colleague has chosen to be driven by malice. No legal Counsel (properly so called) can arrive on her interpretation,” he said.

Dr. Chilumpha also argued that whether President Peter Mutharika assents to the electoral amendment bills or not, the Constitutional Court judgement on its own stands and it is law.

Dean of Faculty of Law at the Chancellor College Dr. Sunduzwayo Madise said the Constitutional Court’s decision is law.

“The law as it stood in 2019 was that a person won using the first past the post system. Now it will be 50%+1 for one to emerge victorious in the presidential race,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

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