Malawi government through it’s Attorney General has applied for an injunction to stop post-election protests against the Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, Jane Ansa.
The Sub Saharan nation has seen political unrest since the announcement of the May 2019 elections results where President Peter Mutharika, was declared a winner.
The demonstrators led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition, have been demanding Ansa to resign on pretax that she mismanaged the elections. Ansa has, however, refused to resign, forcing the protesters to seek Mutharika’s action on the matter.
While the protest’s organisers threaten for more demonstrations until Ansa steps down, the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, argues in his court application that the organisers should stop holding the protests until the case of the elections being challenged by two presidential contesters concludes.
“The claimants, acting on behalf of the government of the Republic of Malawi seeks relief on following,” says application filed before the court
“A declaration that a decision that the defendants to hold protests in the country, whose sole agenda is to seek to force the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Justice Dr Jane Mayemo Ansa ,JA, SC, to resign from her office, or to force the President of the Republic of Malawi to remove her from office, on the pretext that she mismanaged the May,2019 Presidential elections is illegal as being sun-judice, in view of the fact that there is pending in the High Court of Malawi , an electoral petition registered as Constitutional reference No.1 of 2019, where Dr Chilima and Dr Chakwera are challenging the said presidential election results as being tantamount to an undue return or undue election for alleged irregularities.”
The Attorney General, therefore, argues in his application that the demonstrations are thereby prejudging the court case or aimed at influencing the court to make a finding that the election was marred by irregularities.
“The said demonstrations are irregular and illegal so far as the subject matter directly relates to informs or influences the very issue that is before the court in the petition referred to above,” said part of the application.
The government legal representative is also demanding the court to impose a US$ 2.7 million surety on the organizers of the demonstrations, each time they want to hold the protests, for the compassion of the damaged property.
In the previous demonstrations, some protestors had been targeting government offices, foreign investors shops, and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members properties.
But Lawyers for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition which is holding the protests say they challenge the application during an inter-party hearing on Thursday next week.
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