MEC launch by-elections in three wards

Having secured funding in the 2022/2023 financial year, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has finally decided to hold by-elections on 23 August, 2022 in Shire Ward in Balaka, Lupembe Ward in Karonga and Wenya Ward in Chitipa.

MEC Chairperson, Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale, made the announcement on Friday in his national address for the launch of the by-elections.

Kachali emphasized that these by-elections be treated with the utmost attention and interest as is the case with all other elections.

Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale

“A ward councillor is a very important establishment in our democracy but also the local government system. Councillors represent people at the council where many decisions about development are made.

The Commission is, therefore, appealing to everyone in the by-elections areas to take special interest in participating in the activities as required. The Commission undertakes a commitment to conduct all the processes for the by-elections to utmost perfection so that every stakeholder should be satisfied with the process,” said Kachali.

According to MEC, Shire Ward in Balaka fell vacant on 24 October, 2021 due to the death of Councilor Patrick Botomani of the United Democratic Front, Lupembe Ward in Karonga fell vacant on 11 December, 2021 due to the death of Councilor Vincent Kayuni of Alliance for Democracy, Wenya Ward in Chitipa fell vacant because of the death of Councilor Pearson Kapira of the Malawi Congress Party on 13th June, 2022.

MEC says will open polling centres for two weeks for voter registration and inspection from 12 to 25 July, 2022.

“The Commission is informing all political parties, aspiring candidates, Civil Society Organizations and all stakeholders that the last date for submission of names of representatives and observers for voter registration and inspection of the voter’s register is 11 July, 2022,” said Kachale.

According to MEC, nomination papers will be available for collection from the respective District Commissioners’ offices and Returning Officers from 10 July 2022. On 4 August, 2022, MEC will give opportunity to aspiring candidates or their representatives to come to their respective Returning Officers for pre-examination of nomination papers.

Kachale said this arrangement does not preclude candidates from requesting the Returning Officers at any other point to examine the nomination papers and supporting documents before they are submitted.

“This is an attempt by the commission to ensure that defects and shortfalls on nomination requirements are spotted and corrected before the nomination day. There have been cases in past elections whereby candidates have been returned on the nomination day due to deficiencies in their nomination papers,” Kachale said.

Apparently, submission of nominations of candidates shall take place on 5 August, 2022.

MEC says the official campaign period shall start on 9 July to 21 August 2022 and, as per requirement of the law, campaign shall end at 06.00AM on 21 August, 2022.

Pre-checking of polling materials for these by-elections will be on 22 August, 2022 from 9:00AM in all polling stations.

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