"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bakili Muluzi loses first round in come-back bid

The Constitutional Court in Malawi has ordered lawyers for former president Bakili Muluzi to go back to the drawing board in their bid to overturn the Malawi Electoral Commission's decision to reject Muluzi's plans to contest the scheduled 19 May election.

In a brief hearing, the three-judge panel observed that Muluzi's lawyers had app roached the wrong body because all cases dealing with elections must be through a judicial review in the High Court.

"Our role is to interprete the laws, not to try cases," said judge Anaclet Chipe ta on behalf of the two other judges, Silverster Kalembera and Healy Potani.

Chipeta gave Muluzi's lawyers two weeks to approach the courts with a fresh chal lenge.

The Malawi Electoral Commission a fortnight ago ruled that Muluzi was ineligible to contest the elections after having already served as president for two consecutive five-year terms.

Muluzi is, however, challenging the rejection, saying - after taking a breather after the two terms - one becomes eligible.

Tuesday's ruling is a set-back for Muluzi, 66, since he is fast loosing time.

While his would-be main challengers - incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika and veteran opposition leader John Tembo - have hit the trail full throttle, Muluzi is having to go in and out of courts to fight his eligibility.
Blantyre - 07/04/2009


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