Malawi Electoral Commission casts doubt over use of 50+1 electoral system in 2019

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: It needs constitutional amendment

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.

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I am Tumbuka and Northerner, from a tribe of selfish people who want to flood universities though with good grades. Ndife anthu odzikonda and are responsible for the failures of all governments in Malawi. Therefore, we will secede from the country called Malawi to avoid contaminating our good brothers from the centre and south. We will be a stand alone state and die in our selfishness. Please brothers from the centre and south accept our request and things will be better for you. Ndise banthu bakujitemwa, bakujikuzga, etc. For this reason, we will secede from Malawi. The call for a… Read more »
There is always a cost to every credible achievement. Democracy is a process which demands a huge chunk of cost in ITS initial phase and normalizes with the passing of time. Yes it will be costly in its initial stages but will normalize by and large. We need credible elections where a president is elected by Malawians NOT SOUTHERNERS. Malawians mean all Malawians, NOT SOUTHERNERS. We need leaders elected through credible elections, NOT THROUGH A SOUTHERN RAFFLE DRAW. The system (50+1) is cheaper than one CHAPONDA stealing our money. How many CHAPONDAS are in DPP?????? Put their wealth together, they… Read more »
Ntaba on behalf of DPP expressed misgivings about the 50 +1 system. Now Jane Ansah doubts its application in the coming elections. These are the people that put the country to serious test for civil disobedience. Why is DPP scared of the system? Malawians want the system so allow them to have it. It is their democratic right to choose. Democratic benefits of the system are much higher than the financial cost that Ntaba is worried about. With savings from looting and inefficiencies and support from donors the system will be paid for. If the system will not be adopted… Read more »

azako anamwalira nazo.this is not your job.just shut you mouth and annus

True patriot
From the tone and the arguments by the MEC chairperson, one gets the impression that she personally doesn’t like the recommendation by the Law Commission. Now, Mrs Ansah is a highly educated and a person with immense wisdom. I am however, surprised why she doesn’t state whether she is expressing her personal opinion or she is stating the MEC position on the proposal. I doubt if the MEC commissioners have discussed this and come up with a position. Assuming the commissioners haven’t discussed this, then the chairperson is candidly corrupting her fellow commissioners’ minds. It will not surprise anyone if… Read more »
Zudi Mzee

Mayi don’t be a pessemist, we have almost two years before elections, is this a short time for the constitution to be amended?we want change please we cannot have a president with only 36 percent of total votes cast. Opposition, please the first week of your next meeting should have a motion of electoral reforms bill. This will help us to have 50 plus 1 implemented in 2019


Uuuuuuuh zayambapo..nde madam, is it practical to use it in 2019,after parliament has made necessary amendments?I mean will you have the time,say if the process is done this year? Educate us please on the time frame for this process to be done.

Yahya Jammeh
Mayi anzanu omwe anali pa mpando muliwo analira m’gulu mwa anthu chifulwa cholandira ziphuphu. Your argument does not make any legal sense. I think you are just expressing your personal opinion on the natter. If Parliament has passed so many bills during their previous sittings, what do you think would be the hurdle not to amend and pass the new bill to allow the winner of presidency to attain 50+1? Malawians are ready to challenge MEC for its fictitious behaviour. It is good that the opposition has heard you – it will be its opportunity to gang up and ensure… Read more »
Mayford Kumanzere

This I resume requires a lot of financial resources to effectively accomplish the 1st and 2nd polls. Does Malawi has the capacity or we want all the revenues collected in the previous govt. be diverted to elections? What was the main objective of having Tripartite Elections? I thought one of the purpose was to cut costs? Plz educate me.

Wandale wamyee

Unfortunately, Democracy has never been cheap starting right from within party politics. To get quality results we should just prepare to find and use more money. Whether expensive or not but people will not complain because of getting quality results.


That’s good to Malawi democracy. This will also help mec to have small budget considering that ma candidates adzikhala ochepa enawa a 1 vote aleka kuima nawo.

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