Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has applied to the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe to delay the pollster legal team filing and serving of defense documents.
The court ordered the MEC defense team to submit its defense documents to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM lawyers 11 days ago.
But the MEC lawyers said they need the two-week extension to collect witness statements as the evidence in the elections case.
The MEC legal team led by private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho, said the compilation of the defense documents was disrupted by some people who threatened to deal with the legal team who were meeting presiding officers of the just ended controversial May 21 elections.
The lawyers cited as an example calls by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) publicity secretary Maurice Munthali whom they accuse of inciting people to deal with the MEC legal team who were meeting the presiding officers.
The pollster legal team has since applied to the court to force MCP to withdraw Munthali’s statement which asked people to be vigilant when the MEC officials visit their areas.
Lawyer for MCP Larry Nita said the opposition legal team has received the application from the MEC lawyers to extend time for the service of the defense documents.
“They want the extension of time for the extension of the sworn affidavits but they have already extended the time,” said Nita.
But both MCP and UTM’s Legal team said the MEC application was baseless and they will challenge it in court Monday afternoon, arguing granting more MEC time for soliciting information will mean delaying trial of the case .
In the case, UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera are seeking nullification of the presidential results over alleged irregularities.
MEC declared Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winner of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, with 1 940 709 votes. He was trailed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes.
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