Malawi: Muluzi withdraws appeal on candidacy case

Former president Bakili Muluzi has finally decided to withdraw a court case in which he wanted the Supreme Court of Appeal to determine whether or not he can contest as a presidential candidate after serving his two five-year constitutional terms and took a break.

Muluzi who heads opposition UDF party informed the party executive during a meeting on Thursday at his BCA residence in Blantyre.

Party sources said the meeting was organized to take stock of the elections outcome in which the party only won 16 members of parliament.

The party will advise its legal counsel to withdraw the appeal case, said the source.

Spokesman Rob Jameison was not readily available for comment.

However, another senior party official corroborated the story saying the meeting which lasted for six hours agreed to focus on rebuilding and attracting new blood.

Muluzi instructed his lawyers Kalekeni Kaphale and Jai Banda- to file an appeal at the Supreme Court after a Constitutional Court in Blantyre ruled that he was not eligible to stand again as a presidential candidate after serving the country from 1994 to 2004 as President.

But UDF officials said Muluzi expressed no interest in pursuing the case and the party agreed with him that the constitutional review conference will be the best forum to address clarity of Section 83 of the Constitution which bars the President from standing after serving the country in two consecutive terms.

The party in their postmortem also found out that failure to field a presidential candidate greatly contributed too few numbers of MPs gained.

The UDF admitted that its dismal performance could be attributed [partly] to failure to field a presidential candidate, said the source.

UDF backed MCP presidential candidate John Tembo who is disputing the results claiming they were rigged but Muluzi and UDF acknowledged that President Bingu wa Mutharika won.

Muluzi also congratulated Mutharika even before counting of votes was completed and he also attended his inauguration for the second and last term of office.

Post published in: Zimbabwe News

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