Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah says the pollster can only use the 50+1 electoral system in the 2019 presidential election if parliament passes it within six months.
Ansah said the recommendations from the Special Law Commission on the proposed electoral bills can only be effected in the 2019 only after parliament has debated, ratified and passed them.
“Some of the proposed electoral bills would require changing the Republican Constitution,” she said.
Section 80 (2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (PPE) Act will have to be amended to provide for a change of the electoral system from a simple majority to a majority of more than 50 per cent.
President Peter Mutharika had 36 per cent of the vote in 2014 closely followed by Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera at 34 per cent and former president Joyce Banda at 28 per cent.
Ansah said MEC would need more time to make adjustments after the new law is introduced.
If the new law is passed and adopted, where no majority is obtained by any presidential candidate in the first poll, a second poll should be held in which two presidential candidates who obtained the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast will battle it out.
The commission also proposed that the swearing in of president and vice president be done after 30 days not within 30 days as the law provides now. This will require amending the Constitution to provide for the change.