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Court dismisses Mansa Central election petition

…slaps petitioner with costs for wasting the court’s and respondent’s time.

By NATION REPORTER

THE Mansa High Court has dismissed the Mansa Central election petition for want of prosecution and has ordered costs to the respondent to be taxed in default of an agreement for wasting the Court’s time and that of the respondent. 

Last month, Mansa Central losing parliamentary candidate, in the August 12 general elections, standing on the Democratic Party ticket, Mr. Mwape Mwelwa, told the Court that he had withdrawn his petition against Dr. Chitalu Chilufya. Mr. Mwape polled 793 votes against Mr Chilufya’s 32,300.

Yesterday, the court stated that records showed that the petitioner had not complied with the Electoral Petition Act in that he had not advertised the notice of application to withdraw the petition stating the grounds on which the application was intended to be supported.

Bearing in mind that the election petition is time bound and the 90 days expired yesterday, the Court had to pass the ruling. 

“Due to the noncompliance of the procedure, I am left with no option but to dismiss the election petition for want of prosecution. Further, pursuant to Section 103 Sub-Section 4 of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016, the High Court has the discretion to make such orders as to costs as it considers just. In the circumstances of this matter, it is apparent that the petitioner is not interested in complying with Court rules and processes relating to the withdrawal of the election petition as he has not fully complied with them. Therefore, for wasting the Court’s time and the respondent’s time, I award costs to the respondent to be taxed in default of the agreement,” read the judgement.

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