Coronavirus may disrupt Malawi fresh elections

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  fear that though the country  has not yet recorded any coronavirus case, the spreading virus could threaten the staging of the Constitutional Court-ordered presidential elections,  which has been scheduled for July 2 .

Embattled commissioners at the Malawi Electoral Commission

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said on Monday when she announced that the re-run will be held on July 2 that Corona virus has affected a lot of activities and elections are not an exemption.

“The successful implementation of the election calendar will be subject to the mitigation of the impact of the coronavirus including travel embargoes and shutdown of election materials production companies,” said Ansah.

Ansah said MEC will undertake to ensure the safety of its staff, both at headquarters and in the field, during the implementation of the electoral process.

“ There will be masks, gloves, water and hand sanitisers for use in all places. And there will be strict observance of distances between individuals as well as gatherings of less than 100 people during meetings.

“ I urge all electoral stakeholders, including political parties, to join hands with the Commission in observing and applying the same measures in all their undertakings as directed by the State President, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika,” Ansah said.

In a statement on Friday, President Peter Mutharika declared Malawi a State of Disaster and made a number of orders, including the ban on gatherings.

Ansah stressed that successful implementation of the election calendar which has been launched on Monday will be subject to mitigation of the impact of the coronavirus including travel embargos and shutdown of election materials production companies.

Political analyst Henry Chingaipe says managing crowds during registration and voting may pose a huge challenge as it has the potential to bring about voter apathy.

While he agrees with measures put in place to avoid coronavirus, he said the petitioners to the court case may go back to court and seek further guidance, saying this would be more procedural than where the electoral body decides to vary the calendar on the basis of the deadly virus.

Said Chingaipe in quotes reported in the press: “They can go back to court and report progress on the implementation of the order and also present their case in terms of the circumstances surrounding the implementation of the orders and seek fresh guidance.

“The court is a reasonable court …if it is extension of time that should be the direction the court itself may make, no one should take it upon themselves that there is coronavirus, therefore, we will change the time.”

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Chilipa Thako
8 months ago

Fresh elections 2023 wo.

TAMALISHA
TAMALISHA
8 months ago
Reply to  Chilipa Thako

Za ziiii ngati dzina lakolo mbuzi iwe

Mwini muzi.
Mwini muzi.
8 months ago

Because the court is the friends of the petitioners, opposition parties and HRDC, they will grant anything they can ask for.

Kanthunkhako
8 months ago

Galu wachabe mayi ameneyo

H E Nyaphapi One
8 months ago

Whatever, WE want this woman out of MEC! May I borrow Mr. Ibrahim Matola’s wise counsel – ‘she must leave MEC with her underwear and bras’.

Alex mgeni
Alex mgeni
8 months ago

Kodi inu ma commissioners a mec and madam ansah. You think you are the best? Tamalizani ma contract anu muzipita. Kaya amakunyengani…
..zanu izo. Zopusa sitikufuna ife.

phade
phade
8 months ago

best way is tisavote. tiferenji? Let Peter continue. i like the way he has handled corona virus issue. mature leader.

Theu
Theu
8 months ago

NO way we can have elections when there is a sharp rise of corona-virus cases in South Africa. Any time Malawi is going to register cases.

Rola
Rola
8 months ago

Chingaipe, accept that concourt made a huge mistake by not thinking about constitutional provisions. The court can’t change it’s own determination. It would be really stupid for petitioners to go to the court asking them to change the time. The foolish judges thought they could circumvent the constitution that’s why there is this mess. By the way, what about the Bill’s?

Ndani
Ndani
8 months ago

Seriously do we need the courts to make a determination if the coronavirus affects voting? ….the virus will make it’s own determination…..some lawyers just memories laws but cant apply to a live situation…eish

Jamax
Jamax
8 months ago

Chonde iwe Corona – virus kaya ena akuti dzina lako lenileni ndiwe COVID – 19???? chonde usafike kuno ku Malawi chifukwa atsogoleri ena akomoka… ndipo ulendo wopita ku Sanjika/State House ayambapo katundu apakila kale!!! adzela ya ku Mzuzu shaaaaa!!! koma usachite masawela pokhapa iwe Covid 19 – ife zoti tidza vote chaka cha mawa ayi ndithu – ife tisakhale ngati ana a Israel omwe adayenda m’chipululu zaka 40 kuti akalowe ku Canaan – kkkkkkk!!! Iwe COVID – 19…. ukhala ndi ulemu kudikilira ndikowawa wamva shut up!!! kaya ufune usafune kaya utikomola koma ife ku State Houseko tikalowako chaka chino basi… Read more »

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