Campaign wants MEC to further slash down fees for youth candidates

Youth-Decide 2019, a consortium that recently made a historic step to have nomination fees for youthful aspirants reduced ahead of next year’s tripartite elections, says it wishes that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should further slash down the fees.

YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka: Economic marginalization of youth in Malawi remains a major barrier to their participation in democratic processes including elections.

MEC subsidized nomination fees of youth candidates from K500 000.00 to K375 000.00 and K40 000.00 to K30 000 for Members of Parliament (MPs) and Councilor youth candidates respectively.

While commending MEC for the feat, YouthDecide2019 states that the subsidized nomination fees still remain very high for most youth who have already expressed interest to run in the forthcoming elections.

“Chairperson, we wish to reiterate that the economic marginalization of youth in Malawi remains a major barrier to their participation in democratic processes including elections.

“Precisely, the economic, social and political exclusion confronting the youth today is equal and probably worse than those of women. The high levels of unemployment and limited business opportunities have pushed the country’s youth to the periphery,” says Charles Kajoloweka, YouthDecide2019 team leader.

According to him, they share the same principal values of MEC which emphasize inclusion of marginalized groups in the electoral process.

“As such we strongly recommend that MEC and its stakeholders should consider further revising the nomination fees for all youth aged between 21 and 35. Specifically, we propose that the fees for Parliamentary and Local Government Elections be revised to MK250 000 and MK20 000 respectively,” writes Kajoloweka.

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