Pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it has a budget deficit of K3.3 billion for the May 21 tripartite elections.
Officials from MEC said this on Wednesday at a Public Affairs Committee organized two-day meeting on the elections which has drawn delegates from the pollster, UNDP and other stakeholders.
But UNDP chief technical advisor Richard Cox said it was too late to start raising the money of such magnitude now.
“It is too late; we have just a few weeks before the election. We cannot raise such an amount,” said Cox.
Chairperson of PAC Felix Chingota accused MEC of concealing the deficit.
“PAC was not sincere when it said everything is okey to hold the election. They never told us that there is a deficit,” said Chingota.
MEC’s deputy director of Electoral Services Wellngton Katentha said only half of the needed vehicles for the election have been secured.
He said there was need to have the whole fleet on time before the election day.
Bishop Mathews Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church told MEC to change rules so that only serious contenders should be given nomination forms.
He said there were many “time wasters” this year during the ceremonies to receive nomination papers from prospective presidential candidates, describing it as nonsense.
Malawi’s 6.8 million registered voters will have seven presidential candidates to choose from when they queue to vote in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections including incumbent President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Vice-President Saulos Chilima of newly formed UTM Party.
Besides political allies-turned-rivals, Mutharika and Chilima, other candidates in the presidential race are Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), John Chisi (Umodzi Party-UP), Peter Kuwani (Mbakuwaku Movement for Development-MMD), Atupele Muluzi (United Democratic Front-UDF) and Revelend Kaliya (independent).