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Malawi court bars ex-president Muluzi from upcoming elections

[JURIST] A Malawi court on Saturday barred former president Bakili Muluzi [BBC profile] from participating in the upcoming election. The court held [AP report] that the Malawi Constitution [text] prohibits Muluzi from running for office after serving two consecutive five-year terms beginning in 1994. Article 83 of the Malawi Constitution provides that the president, vice president and second vice president "may serve in their respective capacities a maximum of two consecutive terms," although the language is unclear on whether this bars someone from serving a third, non-consecutive term. The court's decision came after Muluzi appealed a nomination rejection by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) [official website, EISA backgrounder] in March. President Bingu wa Mutharika [official website] urged the MEC [Nyasa Times report] to reject Muluzi's nomination. Article 76 of the Malawi Constitution provides that the High Court holds judicial review power over the electoral commission. Muluzi is now backing John Zenus Ungapake Tembo [Nyasa Times report] for the office.

In January, a court in Malawi held that Muluzi could be investigated [JURIST report] for alleged theft of international aid money. Both Muluzi and Mutharika have been accused of corruption [JURIST report] in the past. Mutharika defected from Muluzi's Democratic Front party to form his own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website].

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