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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The role of the judiciary in the 2004 general elections in Malawi
Authors:Gloppen, SiriISNI
Kanyongolo, Fidelis EdgeISNI
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Malawi
Central Africa
Subjects:judicial system
separation of powers
judicial power
Politics, Practical
Dispute resolution (Law)
Malawi--Politics and government
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/eajphr/article/view/39361
Abstract:This paper analyses the central role played by the judiciary in Malawi's 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections. The authors argue that the judiciary assumed four crucial functions in the electoral process: it performed an accountability function, serving to 'unblock the democratic channels' and secure the integrity of the electoral process (although not succeeding); it functioned as a safety valve diffusing tension and averting violence; it served as an internal arbiter for political parties; and it provided political leverage for individuals and parties contesting the elections. Particularly in terms of the first two functions, the judiciary contributed positively to the electoral process. Nevertheless, the growing prominence of the courts in the political arena is cause for concern, reflecting a lack of trust in the political institutions. It also makes the courts vulnerable; the more political battles are channelled into the legal arena, the more tempting it becomes for the executive to assert control over the judicial branch. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]