The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has suspended the registration of new voters in Mangochi North-East Parliamentary by-elections after independent candidate Martin Sekati Nyengo obtained a court injunction.
Nyengo obtained an injunction restraining the electoral body from proceeding with all electoral activities in the area ahead of November 10 polls.
MEC is planning to hold parliamentary by-election in the area after the court nullified the 2019 Parliamentary election results for the area citing irregularities.
The injunction, granted by High Court Judge Joseph Chigona, on 18th September, 2020, restrained MEC from registering new voters, receiving nomination papers and using presiding officers that worked during the 21 May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Nyengo had sought a court order after being dissatisfied with the 2019 elections in which MEC declared Idi Kalosi of United Democratic Front (UDF) a winner.
According to his lawyer, Chimwemwe Kalua the injunction is to restrain MEC hold new registration and allow new contestants because these were not there in the challenged elections.
“There is need to maintain the old voters’ roll and also stick to the same old faces which contested in the previous elections which the court annulled,” he stressed.
Kalua also challenged MEC to do away with incompetent staff who performed their duties in the previous election, saying they contributed to a plethora of irregularities.
MEC chief elections officer, Sam Alfandika confirmed the suspension of new voter registration exercise, but asserted that they will continue with other processes.
“The Commission will proceed with voter verification and replacement of lost voter certificates in Mangochi North East Constituency up to 27th September, 2020.
“The registration process and all other preparatory processes for the by-elections in all the other vacant constituencies and ward are not affected by the injunction and are proceeding as planned by the Commission,” said Alfandika.
He said the Commission will duly inform the nation regarding the developments on the matter.
Apart from Mangochi North East, the Commission will conduct by-elections in Mangochi West, Phalombe North, Lilongwe North West and Karonga Central.
And voter registration and voter verification exercise for the November 10 by-elections started last week in all the constituencies in question.
Official campaign kicked off 10th September 2020 and will end on November 8, 2020.
Mangochi North East, Mangochi West and Phalombe North fell vacant after the court nullified their 2019 election results; Lilongwe North fell vacant following the resignation of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who was contesting for the country’s Presidency and Karonga Central fell vacant because of the death of law maker, Cornelius Mwalwanda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :