MEC slashes nomination fees for women, youth and disabled in Malawi 2019 polls

Pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has slashed nomination fees for women, the youth and people with disability after an uproar  led by United Democratic Front (UDF) over the hike which analysts said could have prevented the affected groups from participating in the 2019 election.

Charles Kajoloweka is calling for a further reduction.

MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the youth, under the age of 35 will now pay K375,000 down from K500,000 whilst women and those with disability will pay K250, 000 down from K500, 000.

“These people are economically and financially marginalized so this decision was arrived at to help them so that they participate fully should they want to be candidates,” said Mwafulirwa.

The MEC spokesperson however said the categories that have the nomination fees slashed are the parliamentary and local government elections, saying those vying for the presidency will still pay K2 million.

But George Phiri, a political and social commentator at the University of Livingstonia said it does not make sense to have the women pay more nomination fees than the youth.

Phiri said most women are well to do financially than the youth.

Some male politicians have said the nomination fees are just too high for ordinary people.

Reacting to the announcement, Team Leader for Youth-Decide-2019  Campaign (YD-2019)  Charles Kajoloweka described the development as good adding that his Network would continue to engage MEC to further reduce the fees for youths.

“ It is a good development,  a good start. But we will further engage MEC. Our proposal has been that the rate should be reduced to 50%  due to the fact that the economic marginalization of  youth and people with disabilities is not different from that of women,” said Kajoloweka.

The  newly introduced youth nomination fees come at a time when a consortium of three NGOs; Youth and Society (YAS), Network for Youth  Development  (NfYD) , and Youth Politicians Union engaged MEC to reduce the nomination fees to enable more youth to run in the 2019 Tripartite Elections through  the YD-2019 Campaign.

The YD-2019 is a nationwide Campaign aimed at mobilizing and empowering Malawian youth to actively participate in the 2019 Tripartite Elections  and  to promote good governance by youth after 2019.

MEC will receive the nomination papers and fees from February 4 to 8, 2019. –Additional reporting by Patricia Mtungila, MEC.

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3 years ago

Completely undemocratic and unacceptable to have candidates in the same category (ie. for the same positions), charged different amounts of fees.
Whoever authorized this at MEC can now be fairly accused of shallow thinking.
It is only fair, and democratic, to lower the fees for everybody, if you have to that: otherwise the cherry picking never ends.
MEC: stop dozing on the job!

Truth pains
Truth pains
3 years ago

Only when you have a disability you will understand how we feel when you describe us as the disabled. We have the capacity to things you can do though differently. The fact that you have legs does not make us unable to walk because we can use cruches or wheel chairs

Please nyasatimes, respect us. We are human beings like you. The fact that we have disabilities does not make us disabled

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