MEC asks court to stop voter registration after Cabinet committee on Covid-19 directive

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has asked the High Court to stop the ongoing registration exercise for the July 2 fresh presidential elections barely after Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus prescribed the suspension of the exercise as precautionary measures to fight the outbreak.

Ansah inspected progress of voter registration exercise currently in its first phase at Mitole Primary School registration center in Chikwawa North Constituency .

The Cabinet Committee led by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango advised the  suspension of of voter registration to “safeguard lives of voters”.

But MEC proceeded with the registration of voters while rushing to court to seek the legal authority to stop the process.

MEC chairwoman Jane Ansah confirmed the development.

Speaking on Monday when she inspected progress of  voter registration exercise at Mitole Primary School registration center  in Chikwawa North Constituency, Ansahr implored upon MEC registration staff on the ground to ensure that social distancing coupled with regular hand washing is implemented at all cost.

“I am optimistic that no case of coronavirus pandemic is going to be registerd due to voter registration exercise as well as due to other subsequent activities leading to the Constitution Court ordered presidential elections if we implement the recommended preventive measures. I therefore call upon all of you to ensure social distance during this exercise no matter what,” said Ansah.

During Ansah’s visit to Chikwawa, which is among districts of Nsanje,Blantyre,Salima,Karonga, Chitipa among others where the first phase of voter registration is currently underway, it was disclosed that the fear of the virus pandemic is making some people to shun away from registering.

It also transpired that the absence of  National Registration Staff at voter registration centers  prevented people without national identity cards from registering unlike in the May  2019 Tripartite Elections where they  were being registered first by the NRB staff right on the center before being enrolled in the voters register.

Legal expert Justin Dzonzi said while it is praiseworthy to take preventive measures,  the Cabinet  committee does not have constitutional mandate on issues to do with elections.

“The constitution of the ministerial committee to do with Coronavirus is purely administrative and not provided for under the appropriate law. I know the president is proceeding on basis of a law called Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act but the law for purposes of doing with Coronavirus is the Public Health Act,” Dzonzi said on Times Radio.

He also described the committee’s decision as an interference with electoral process stressing that the Executive would only advise Mec to call for a Necof [National Elections Consultative Forum] meeting to map the way forward.

“We should keep in mind that these are not normal elections but court ordered election. Any processes that are likely to interfere in implementation of that order require a sanction of that court. Mec, as a party to the election, should have gone to court and make an application asking an extension of time and interim suspend the voter registration,” he said.

The electoral body started the first phase of the registration process in preparation for Constitutional Court sanctioned fresh presidential elections.

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Mpakateni
Guest

Ku America corona ikuviuta zedi koma khothi la Supreme lalamula kuti zisankho za maprimary a Democrats a pitilire. Apa zikutanthauza kuti chisankho cha President chidzakhala. Pumbwa asathawe masakho kumbuyo kwa corrona. Zivite zitani tikukavota basi.

Nabanda
Guest

Please‼ Can APM take jane ansah to Zomba Mental Hospital pls!

chataika
Guest
chataika

Kkkkkk a Dzonzi mwadziwa liti cabinet committee has interfered with MEC on request to halt voters’ registration? Bwanji simunanenepo za mmene concourt inalowerera parliament kasintha za 50+1? Kodi muli a Galatiya woyamba ndi uzimu koma kutsiriza mthupi? Shame on you and cabinet committee on virus has been mandated to make sure they put measures to avoid spread on covid so they can make decisions and every citizen has to abide by that since they have been mandated by our consititution. If anything ndiye mukanayamba kutsutsa kuti the committee was illegally appointed. Musamayese kuti ndinu nokha mumazitsata zinthuzi ndinu amene mukusokoneza… Read more »

Alex mgeni
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Alex mgeni

A malawi osamapusa. The court cant grant that. Have the banks closed? Lets wait for such a situation. Palibe zothawa kuvota. No no no! What if corona proceeds for 2 years. U mean we wont vote?????? Use the heads pliz.

Cairo
Guest
Cairo

Iwe umati chaaaa? Palibe, the deciding factor is that there should be no more cases of covid-19 in Malawi and thats a precondition. Inu amene mukuufuna u President, chafa kwadolo.

Dowa Beast
Guest

Jane Ansah is on her early stages of madness

H E Nyaphapi One
Guest

I am going to Mugg&Bean for a coffee. Thanks. See u later.

Jerusalem Bible College
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Jerusalem Bible College

Even during war, Afghanistan go to Elections. We want fresh Presidential elections. DPP said they are ready and MCP/UTM said the same. Whether coronavirus or not, let’s do the needful.

BANDAWE
Guest

No need for MEC to go to corrupt court.

Palazala
Guest
Palazala

Maybe your God is the devil

Selembo
Guest
Selembo

Kodi????????

Nambuma Girl
Guest
Nambuma Girl

I have never seen a hard hearty woman like this one. May God see her.

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