Pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said it is still going ahead with preparations for the June 29 by-elections despite a High Court judgement that saw four commissioners being fired for illegal appointment.
Last Wednesday, High Court Judge, Kenyatta Nyirenda, argued that the quartet of Linda Kunje, Jean Mathanga, Arthur Nanthulu and Steve Duwa were improperly appointed by then President Peter Mutharika.
In a statement signed by MEC acting chief elections officer, Harris Potani, and made available to Nyasa Times, MEC advised “electoral stakeholders that by-election activities have not been suspended in view of the High Court judgement which quashed the appointment of the four Commissioners.”
The electoral body also announced the end of voter registration and inspection of the register on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 4:00pm.
“All those who registered for the May 21, 2019 Tripartite Elections need not to register again but just go to the Centre where they registered to verify their names in the voters’ roll. All those who registered for the Fresh Presidential Election in 2020 and their voter certificates start with F20, need to register again. However, all stakeholders should take note that there is no registration of new voters in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency where the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal nullified results of 2019 parliamentary election,” reads the statement in part.
According to the statement, those eligible to register are Malawians who have attained the age of 18 and above or will attain the voting age on the last day of voter registration which is 8th June, 2021.
“Section 10 of the Local Government Elections Act provides that a person shall be registered as a voter in the area where he ordinarily resides or was born or is employed or carries on business,” the statement says, and adds that all stakeholders and aspiring candidates in Lalanje and Chikwembere wards are advised that presentation of nomination papers will take place on 12th June, 2021 as announced earlier.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is set to hold by-elections for Nkhata Bay Constituency and two wards, Chikwembere in Blantyre North and Lalanje in Nsanje Lalanje constituencies.
The post for Nkhata Bay Central Constituency, that was declared from the 2019 tripartite elections results as having been won by Simon Vuwa Kaunda, fell vacant after court nullification while the Councillors for the two wards died.
Constituencies that have been nullified by the courts since 2019 include Mangochi West; Mangochi North East; Phalombe North; Chikwawa East; Nsanje North and Nsanje Central.