Following the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal regarding the May 2014 Tripartite Elections for Lilongwe City South, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is putting in place measures to hold a by-election and not a re-run as demanded by Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
This development comes hot on the heels of differing opinions from the country’s legal minds which were suggesting that the country’s electoral laws does not provide for a re-run but rather a by-election.
On.March 6 the Supreme Court ruled that a re-run be conducted in the constituency following irregularities in the 2014 parliamentary elections which saw Bentry Namasasu of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) being declared winner.
His MCP counterpart Ulemu Msungama lodged a protracted legal battle to have the results nullified alleging that he was the rightful winner.
The High Court sitting in Lilongwe ordered for a recount of the ballot which.did nt happen because the Warehouse keeping the ballot papers caught fire in mysterious circumstances and raised eyebrows that the DPP was trying to erase evidence that Msungama indeed won the elections.
In a statement signed by Acting Chief Elections Officer Thandie Nkovole, MEC notes that it will be the first time on record that there will be a re-run of this nature in the electoral history of the country.
“To that extent there is need for critical study of the judgement delivered by the court and also provisions of the.existing electoral laws in order to come up with an acceptable procedure in conducting a re-run,” Nkovole said.
MCP deputy secretary general Elsenhowver Mkaka said it would be unfortunate if MECE proceeded with its by-elections where there will be other candidates, saying a rerun of MCP’s Msungama and DPP’s Namasasu would have been ideal.