Major political parties in the country are up in arms against exhorbitant nomination fees set by pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), describing them as discriminatory.
MEC has announced that those seeking for the office of president will pay K2 million up from K1 million while men wishing to be members of parliament will pay K500, 000 up from K250, 000 while women will pay K250000 – affirmative action toreduce fees for women.
Men wishing to be councillors will pay K40,000 whilst women will pay K20000.
United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Ken Ndanga cautioned MEC over the new nomination fees, saying the pollster should not be seen as interested in money making than organising polls.
Ndanga said there was no need to have separate fees for men and women, saying both of them were eyeing for the same office.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said the fees were too high for ordinary Malawians seeking public elective office.
But Dausi said parliamentary candidates should be able to probe government expenditures and they could only do that if they invested heavily in seeking election.
Peoples Party spokesperson Noah Chimpeni said the fees are not only expensive but discriminatory.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Maurice Munthali said Malawians are already paying heavy taxes on various goods and services, saying therefore subjecting them to heavy nomination fees was unfair.
He said the new fees would put off qualified aspiring candidates, saying this was an infringement on their rights.
MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said in Lilongwe on Tuesday that it as a legal requirement that the commission determines the amount payable at least six months before the nomination.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :