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Libya at ‘delicate and critical juncture’ ahead of landmark elections: UN envoy – The Maravi Post



He reported that the political climate remains “heavily polarized” ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls, which are being held in line with a roadmap adopted last year following a historic ceasefire and the establishment of an interim government. 

Even though Libyans are eager to cast their votes, “vocal opposition” persists surrounding the legal framework for the elections, said Mr. Kubiš, who has recently resigned. 

A delicate juncture  

Tensions are also rising over the eligibility of some high-profile presidential candidates, as are fears of armed confrontation.   

The envoy urged objectors to channel their concerns through existing judicial mechanisms and to respect the verdicts. 

“Libya continues to be at a delicate and fragile juncture on its path to unity and stability through the ballot boxes”, said Mr. Kubiš, who also heads the UN mission in the country, UNSMIL

“While risks associated with the ongoing political polarization around the elections are evident and present, not holding the elections could gravely deteriorate the situation in the country and could lead to further division and conflict”. 

Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC) has confirmed that the first round of presidential elections will be held on 24 December.  

Candidates step forward 

The second round, as well as the parliamentary elections, are set to take place 50 days later.  All final results will be announced simultaneously. 

Registration for presidential candidates ended this week. Mr. Kubis said that a preliminary list was expected on Thursday afternoon, with some 98 people, including two women, putting their names forward. 

Candidates include the interim Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former President Muammar Gaddafi, who was deposed in 2011, following which the country descended into crisis, with two rival administrations battling for power until recently.

The ongoing registration for parliamentary elections will conclude on 7 December.  So far, more than 2,000 people, including 276 women, have stepped forward as candidates. 

‘Yearning’ to vote 

Meanwhile, nearly two million voter cards have been distributed to date.  Additionally, more than 3,200 domestic observers, 320 national media representatives, 20 international media, and nine international observation organizations have applied for HNEC accreditation. 

Mr. Kubiš said the high number of registered voters and candidates shows Libyans “are yearning for an opportunity to elect their representatives and give them a mandate to govern Libya through democratic legitimacy”. 

This aspiration must be fulfilled, he added, underlining the need for international support to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.  

He stressed that while the judiciary will have final word on any objections raised, whether concerning the process or the presidential candidates, the final decision will ultimately be made by the Libyan people.  

“It is the Libyans that have their future and the future of Libya in their hands”, said the Special Envoy.  

“They should participate in the elections, vote for those that are committed to stable, prosperous, united, sovereign and democratic Libya, governed by the rule of law and committed to fight corruption, pursue national reconciliation, justice and accountability”. 

Special Envoy resigns 

Mr. Kubiš also addressed his decision to step down, having submitted his resignation letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres last week. 

Given the ongoing political and security transitions in Libya, as well as the “delicate and complex electoral processes”, the need for a UN-mediated process and good offices role has intensified, he said. 

Therefore, he has suggested that the Head of UNSMIL should be urgently relocated to the capital, Tripoli, which he has long supported, along with splitting the positions of Special Envoy and UN mission chief.  

“In order to create conditions for this, on 17 November 2021, I tendered my resignation”, said Mr. Kubiš, who has expressed readiness to continue for a transitional period covering the electoral process. 

Speaking on Tuesday, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Mr. Guterres has accepted the envoy’s resignation “with regret” and is working on an appropriate replacement. 

“We are all fully aware of the electoral calendar and are working as quickly as possible to ensure continuity of leadership”, he said. 

Sourced from United Nations Africa Pages


Malawi Court dismisses DPP’s election case with costs – The Maravi Post




ConCourt Judges

The High Court in Blantyre, sitting as Constitutional Court, has thrown out the Democratic Progressive Party’s application for the nullification of the 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections, describing it as an abuse of the court process and an attempt by the DPP to benefit from its own illegality.

The former governing party sought a constitutional interpretation after the High Court in Lilongwe, hearing Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vs President of Malawi, ruled that four Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners were appointed illegally.

The DPP argued that since the four commissioners were part of the commission that managed the 2020 presidential elections, then the elections cannot be valid.

However, in preliminary objection, Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda prayed for the case to be dismissed before the hearing of the main case because, arguing the DPP wanted to benefit from its own illegality.

In its ruling, the panel of five judges led by Justice Selvester Kalembera agreed with the AG on several grounds he raised before the court, praying that the case be dismissed

The Court agreed with the AG, saying nullification of Fresh Presidential Election as asked by the DPP will have the effect of having the DPP benefit from its own illegality as status quo in the presidency will revert to the period before the fresh elections.

“We cannot imagine a more classic example of one seeking to benefit from their own illegality than this.

“What we have are illegal nominations by the DPP followed by illegal appointments by the former President who incidentally is also the president of the DPP,” the court said.

The court also found that the issues DPP took to the court were already disposed of by the court in Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vs President of Malawi and what was needed after that case was an appeal, not a fresh case as commenced by the DPP.

“We find that it is an abuse of court process for the DPP to bring this application in the manner they have done.

“We have established that this matter is not only an appeal in disguise but also re-litigation. The fact that the DPP is crying out constitutionalism and rule of law does not change the nature of proceedings before us into a constitutional matter and does not compel us to sanction abuse of court process,” the court said.

“The Claimant is trying to re-litigate through the backdoor. In a popular parlance: he is trying to take a second bite at the cherry. This we will not condone.”

“We agree with the Attorney General that this Court cannot allocate to itself powers that have not been conferred upon it by the law.”

The Court further determined that DPP filed the suit incompetently by suing a wrong party.

“The Claimant commenced these proceedings against “The Attorney General (on behalf of the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’)”. The Court’s finding is that there exists no juristic person known as the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’.

“Whilst the Attorney General can be sued on account of the actions or omissions of the Government or a public officer, he is not sued in abstract. Since the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’ is not a legal person, the Attorney General has been sued in abstract and is therefore a wrong party. The action is futile and the Court upheld the preliminary objection on this issue.”

The Court. therefore,  struck out the Claimant’s action in its entirety and further ordered the DPP to pay the cost to the Attorney General.

In June this year, the High Court quashed the appointment of four DPP commissioners Jean Mathanga, Linda Kunje, Steven Duwa and Arthur Nanthuru, saying their appointment was invalid and unconstitutional.

The court acted after the governing Malawi Congress Party had challenged the appointment of the commissioners.

In his ruling, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda further said the quashing of the appointments did not affect the validity of the June 2020 re-run presidential election.

Below is a summary of the ruling:

Issue 1: Whether the Attorney General must take an oath of office in order to have standing in court.

2. The finding of the Court is that the framers of the Constitution did not intend for the Attorney General to take an oath of office. The Court finds that the Attorney General was properly before the Court. Consequently, the Court dismissed this preliminary objection.

Issue 2: Whether the High Court has jurisdiction to overturn or review its own decision, whether a High Court judgment can constitute a cause of action, and Page 2 of 5

whether the present proceedings are aimed at reviewing or appealing against a decision of the High Court on similar issues.

a. Effect of certification

3. The Claimant advanced the view that the certification rendered it mandatory for the Court to proceed with the determination of the questions in the Referral and to disregard the preliminary issues. Having found that the certification was made subject to the Referral and that Order 16 rule 6 of the CPR allows a court to consider preliminary issues, the Court concluded that the said preliminary issues were rightly before the Court and the Court was within its legal mandate in entertaining them. The certification does not have the effect alleged by the Claimant and the dismissed what the Claimant advanced herein.

b. Whether this matter is an appeal

4. The Court having established that the issues in these proceedings are the same as those in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi which was decided by the High Court, Lilongwe District Registry. Therefore, this was an appeal in disguise and this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain it. Consequently, the Court upheld this preliminary objection.

  • b. Whether this matter is res judicata

5. The finding is in the affirmative as the three prerequisite elements establishing res judicata (re-litigation) namely, existence of a final judgment, identity of parties and identity of subject matter obtain in this matter. Consequently, the Court upheld this preliminary objection.

d. Whether or not this court is functus officio

6. The concept of functus officio is inapplicable in the present case for the reason that it was not this Court which rendered the judgment in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi, which was registered as Judicial Review Cause no. 34 of 2020 and heard at the High Court Lilongwe Registry. Consequently, the Court dismissed this preliminary objection. But the matter is still caught by res judicata.

  • e. Whether or not the judgment in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi constitutes a cause of action

7. The Defendant argued that these proceedings were incompetent because the Claimant was relying on the judgment in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi as its cause of action. The Court having established that the judgment does not constitute a cause of action. Consequently, the Court upheld this preliminary objection.

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Issue 3: Whether the present proceedings should have been commenced by way of petition as opposed to summons.

8. The Court rejected the Defendant’s assertion that this is an election matter which should have been commenced by way of petition. The reason is that the three factors that must obtain in an election petition have not been satisfied, in that (i) the complaint did not arise “due to an act or omission during an election,” (ii) the Claimant had no right to be elected at an election and (iii) the Claimant was not a candidate at such election. The dismissed this preliminary objection. Notwithstanding the Court’s position on this issue, the Court has maintained its finding that this action is an appeal in disguise and/or an attempt by the Claimant to have a second bite at the cherry.

Issue 4: Whether or not the present proceedings are statute barred under section 100 of the PPEA, having been commenced more than seven days from the declaration of the result of the election.

9. Having established that these proceedings do not constitute an election matter the limitation period of seven days under section 100 of the PPEA does not apply. The Defendant’s preliminary objection was accordingly dismissed.

Issue 5: Whether a political party has locus standi to challenge the results of an election and whether the Defendant is a proper party to the present proceedings.

b. locus standi of the Claimant

10. Having established that this present action is an appeal in disguise and/or a re-litigation of the issues, the finding is that the Claimant lacks standing to approach the Court in the manner it has done by commencing fresh proceedings. The Court therefore dismissed this preliminary issue on that premise.

b. status of the Defendant as a party

11. The Claimant commenced these proceedings against “The Attorney General (on behalf of the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’)”. The Court’s finding is that there exists no juristic person known as the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’. Whilst the Attorney General can be sued on account of the actions or omissions of the Government or a public officer, he is not sued in abstract. Since the ‘Office of the President of the Republic of Malawi’ is not a legal person, the Attorney General has been sued in abstract and is therefore a wrong party. The action is futile and the Court upheld the preliminary objection on this issue.

12. Notwithstanding the Court’s position on this issue, the Court maintained the finding that this action is an appeal in disguise.

Page 4 of 5

Issue 6: Whether non-compliance with section 4 of the Civil Procedure (Suits by or against the Government or Public Officers) Act is fatal to the proceedings commenced against the Attorney General and whether the present proceedings can be dismissed for failing to comply with section 4 of the said Act.

13. The finding that the requirement for the section 4 notice requirement of 3 months cannot be dispensed with for the reason that these proceedings were commenced by a summons under Order 5 of the CPR. The Court upheld the preliminary objection on this issue.

Issue 7: Whether the Claimant having deliberately contravened the law in recommending the appointment into the Commission, more than three nominees, should be allowed to benefit from its own illegality and whether it should be estopped from challenging the decisions of the members of the Commission who were appointed into the Commission in contravention of section 4 of the Electoral Commission Act.

Issue 8: Alternatively, whether the present proceedings seek to benefit the Claimant from its own unlawful and illegal act.

14. These two issues were addressed simultaneously. The Court in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi specifically held that the conduct of the Claimant in nominating more than three names and the appointment of more than three Commissioners representing the Claimant to the Sixth Cohort of the Commission were illegal. The finding is that the principle relief sought by the Claimant, namely, nullification of the results of the FPE 2020 and the subsequent Parliamentary and Local Government by-elections, if granted, would have the effect of benefiting the Claimant from its own illegality, in that the status quo would revert to the pre-FPE 2020 political set up. The preliminary objection is upheld.

Issue 9: Whether or not the present proceedings are frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process and a waste of the Court’s time.

15. Having found that these proceedings are an appeal in disguise or an attempt to re-litigate the issues in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi which are caught by the doctrine of res judicata, the Court concluded that the present proceedings are frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the court. The preliminary objection was upheld.

Issue 10: Whether or not the courts are there to offer gratuitous constitutional or legislative interpretation.

16. Under section 9 of the Constitution the Judiciary has the responsibility of interpreting the law within the context and framework of legally relevant facts and final settlement of legal disputes. The issues raised in this matter were dealt with to finality in the case of Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi. The Claimant accepted both the rescission letter and the judgment in Malawi Congress Party v The President of the Republic of Malawi. This implies that there is no dispute for this Court to determine and that the

Page 5 of 5

Claimant merely seeks the Court’s advisory opinion. The finding is that the present matter is not within the jurisdiction and competence of this court. The preliminary objection was upheld.

Issue 11: Whether or not the matters herein are moot or academic.

17. Having established that no cause of action has arisen and that the Claimant has not shown that any dispute has been triggered and that the Claimant only seeks this Court’s advisory opinion, the Court concluded that the present matter is moot, hypothetical and academic. The preliminary objection is upheld.

Issue 12: Forum Shopping

18. Before making the final pronouncement the Court shared its observations on the malpractice of forum shopping, also known as judicial tourism, which the Court observed that it happened in this case.


  • 19. In consequence of the foregoing findings the Court had made the following orders: c. The action is struck out in its entirety on account of, inter alia: i. the proceedings being an appeal in disguise;
    • ii. the proceedings being res judicata;
    • iii. the judgment relied upon not constituting a cause of action;
    • iv. a non-existent party being sued;
    • v. the Claimant’s failure to comply with the notice requirement under section 4 of the Civil Procedure (Suits by or against the Government or Public Officers) Act;
    • vi. the Claimant being precluded from benefitting from its own illegality; and
    • vii. the proceedings being frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
    • d. The Claimant’s action having been struck out the Claimant is condemned in the Attorney General’s costs.

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Venezuelans: Striving Pacifists In A Strife-torn World, By Owei Lakemfa – The Maravi Post




It is not difficult to understand why Venezuelans aspire to be peaceful, pacifist and committed to nature. They have an enchanting country blessed by nature. They seem to have it all: an inviting nature, spell-binding mountains, irresistible forests, calm-looking-seas, a patch of desert, enormous natural resources and a fine weather.  

Countries like these, as testified to by the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, are like sugar that must attract ants. The powerful and the greedy will not leave such countries in peace. It is usually, a situation of a house owner refusing to allow floods sweep away his home.

The capital, Caracas, and the adjoining areas are beautifully carved into a sleepy valley watched over by partner mountains and forests. Last Friday, November 19, 2021, I went over 2,500 feet up the mountain, of course not on foot, but cable car. The area is called Waraira Repano. At the top, the misty mountain rapidly descends to kiss the Caribbean Sea. It is a resort with eateries, relaxation spots and the Hotel Humboldt built in 1956.

The elections I had gone to observe which had 70,244 candidates, was therapeutic; it was the first time in five years the country has come together or agreed on a single issue. The last half decade had witnessed bitter disputes, including on the re-election of President Nicholas Maduro in 2018.

The opposition had gained majority seats and the power-drunk Senate president, backed by powerful countries led by the United States had, in vain, declared himself President. Also in the period, there was an attempt to assassinate President Maduro, an attempted coup, a failed invasion and open opposition calls for sanctions against the country.

The success of the Sunday November 21, 2021 elections was not the number of seats won or lost, but the fact that all parties and groups participated in the elections. So the elections in a sense were an assertion of Venezuela’s sovereignty; Venezuelans right to self-determination and to decide who governs them.

 It was also unique that from the reports of foreign observers across the country, including 70 of us from Africa, the rallies were peaceful and carnival-like, and the elections so transparent that as I write, there have been no disputes or protests on its outcome. In a sense, although the elections excluded the presidential, they were nevertheless, a referendum on the Maduro presidency.

In my pre-election analysis, I had thought the ruling Socialist United Party of Venezuela, PSUV, would have an easy victory. This was partly because while it did direct primaries and presented a single candidate for each position, the opposition had become less united and presented multiple candidates.

The party also made a song of its social programmes such as building 3,800,000 housing units which it had distributed free. But the elections with 41.80 per-cent voter turnout and 50 per-cent women candidates, were not without their surprises.

For instance, while the PSUV won 20 of the 23 three gubernatorial seats, it sustained quite some loses in the mayoral elections. This meant that community matters and the personality of individual candidates were decisive issues. 

The PSUV won Tachira State which it had lost to the opposition, but lost the strategic state of Zulea, the biggest state in the country. It also lost its traditional stronghold of Cojedes; the first time in 20 years since the Hugo Chavez revolution. This may be an indication that it had become complacent in that state, or presented an unpopular candidate. However, it won Caracas.

Also, the politics of election observation played out. The Maduro government, confident of its electoral strength and the transparent electronic voting and collation process, was anxious to attract international observers. But it was not a straight forward process; not a few in the world were afraid of American displeasure should they participate in such a process.

Some institutions, including from Nigeria, tactically declined. But one of the most ridiculous excuses was by the African Union, AU. Its Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki, wrote that the AU could not accept the invitation because it does not monitor elections outside Africa.

In this instance, the AU suffered institutional memory loss. It must have forgotten that just in 2018, it sent a delegation led by Ambassador Arikana Chambori-Qqua to monitor the elections in the same Venezuela. 

Also, some observers might have been discouraged by poor flight connections mainly due to American sanctions. For example, those of us from Nigeria spent an average two days getting to Caracas. There was in fact a Nigerian observer who had to fly from Abuja to Lagos, then to Turkey, Mexico and Cuba to get to Caracas.

A direct flight from Istanbul to Caracas alone takes 10.40 hours; it is a 10,069- kilometre distance. Ordinarily, Nigeria is less than seven hours flight from Caracas; Dakar, five hours and Cape Verde, four hours.

An institution that sent a large delegation to this week’s elections was the European Union. It presented its official report at a press conference on Monday. In the absence of the AU, the African delegates got together to present a common report. Professor Philip Afaha of the University of Abuja who presented the African report affirmed that the elections were peaceful, transparent and credible.

He added: “Current events in the world have shown that democracy is not perfect anywhere. Powerful countries, especially those of the global North, must always show restraint and encourage developing countries to nurture their democracies in line with their domestic realities and aspirations. The Venezuelan people have spoken through this election and the world must respect their views and dignity.”

Venezuelans are primarily Catholics with a very strong attachment to the Church. So I was curious why elections would hold on a Sunday. I was told that many are self-employed who have to work through the week, but go to church and rest on Sundays.

So that they may not sustain needless economic losses in the name of elections, these are held on Sundays more so when Catholic mass is usually short and the electorate can easily combine attending mass and participating in elections. In contrast, Nigeria will not dare hold elections on Friday when Muslims attend Jumat or on Sunday when Christians go to church.

 I also witnessed Venezuelans taking their under-aged children to political rallies and polling stations. It is a good way of bringing up children to understand their civic duties. But in Nigeria, due to fears of violence, it would be unthinkable for parents to take their children to such places.

Venezuelans have a lot to learn from the world just as we also should learn from it, but will the powerful allow or tolerate such a process? Today’s world is intolerant of the pacifists.

Source saharareporters

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Lai Mohammed Is A Sycophant Who Rants To Keep His Job, By Elias Ozikpu – The Maravi Post




I had no intention of responding to Lai Mohammed’s recent rant in respect of the judicial report on Lekki Massacre. But the furore that his eventual reaction to the report has elicited is disturbing for several reasons, as if he was expected to say anything reasonable. It is surprising that Nigerians still attach some importance to the subjective and awkward opinions of a man who lacks the slightest trace of credibility.

For days, Lai Mohammed was in a deep coma after the Lagos Judicial Panel submitted its report, dismissing his baseless claims that there was never a massacre, even though he is fully aware that the Buhari dictatorship massacred countless Nigerian youth at the Lekki Tollgate on the evening of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

His recent rant was not because the Lekki Massacre did not exist, but how was he to face the public after the Lagos Judicial Panel spectacularly dumped his unfounded claims in a garbage can? How was he going to maintain his relevance in the face of the torrential condemnation against him without making another boorish remark under the guise of standing by his reprehensible opinion?

Lai Mohammed is a man with a zero reputation, he cannot win a councillorship election in his ward in Kwara State. In fact, on July 30, 2019, he confirmed that news about his rampaging lies reached his seven-year old grandson who in turn asked his infamous grandpa why Nigerians call him “Liar Mohammed.” So is the extent of the damage this man has caused not just to himself, but to his younger and even unborn generations. And, sadly, this unwanted legacy will remain indelible in Nigeria’s political history. What you sow, you reap.

Lai Mohammed has no stake in dictator Buhari’s draconian regime. He is only a noise-making employee who could be fired at any time. And being appallingly incompetent and too old to be in his position, what does he do to remain relevant before the dictator? He embarks on a campaign of sycophancy [what our people refer to as “eye service”] in a desperate but shameful bid to keep his job as a loyal servant.

When it comes to Lekki Massacre, Lai Mohammed is insignificant and his uncivilised opinions should be shoved off as if they never existed. Those we should concern ourselves with are: dictator Buhari, who is the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria; Yusuf Tukur Buratai, who at the time was the Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Chief Security Officer in Lagos where the government-approved massacre occurred. Although there are other individuals complicit in the massacre, these are the principal defendants who must be made to face the music for their crimes.

Everyone complicit in the Lekki Massacre will face trial at the International Criminal Court [ICC], and there’s absolutely nothing a discredited minister of misinformation can do about it. 

The Lagos Judicial Panel’s report stands. It need not be approved by an insignificant Lai Mohammed or by those it indicted.

Is it not an irony that Lai Mohammed who is quick to accuse everyone except himself of spreading what he calls “fake news,” happens to be the biggest disseminator of the fake news he pretends to campaign against? That this is even coming from a supposed Minister of Information tells the world how incompetent and disastrous this man is. Is it not outright misinformation and fake news to label an evidence-based investigative report “fake news” just for the sake of seeking public attention?

According to Lai Mohammed, Amnesty International’s investigation into Lekki Massacre was fake news, CNN’s investigation into Lekki Massacre was fake news, Lagos Judicial Panel’s investigation into Lekki Massacre is also fake news. He is the only one who holds the key to what constitutes authentic news.

Approximately seven years since the Buhari dictatorship assumed office, Lai Mohammed as Minister of Information has failed woefully and spectacularly to gather information on the activities and possible ways of tracking down kidnappers, terrorists, armed robbers, et al. He abandoned his duties and became dictator Buhari’s sycophant-in-chief in order to replace competence with loyalty.

When the Buhari tyranny comes to an end any moment from now, Lai Mohammed should go beyond sycophancy, noisemaking and attention-seeking under the electoral mandate of others. He should test his own popularity by running for a counsellorship election in his ward in Kwara State then wait and see what happens!

Elias Ozikpu

Playwright, novelist, essayist, polemicist, citizen journalist, permanent enemy o oppressors

Source saharareporters

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