Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said it will receive nomination papers fr for the fresh presidential elections set for July 2 2020 on May 6 and 7 2020 at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
MEC had initially set April 23 and 24 to start receiving the nomination papers but in a notice published in the Malawi government Gazette on Tuesday, the electoral body announced it has shifted the process.
Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika says in the public notice that in view of the coronavirus pandemic, only 10 delegates including the presidential candidate and runningmate will be allowed entry into the hall for the presentation of the papers.
The Commission is encouraging candidates and political parties to present their completed nomination papers to MEC secretariat for pre-inspection before the presentation day.
“This will ensure a smooth and time-saving nomination process,” said Alfandika.
MEC will proceed with theelectoral calendar after the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal last Thursday dismissed its application to vary the period of holding the election from the 150 days prescribed by the five-judges panel at the Constitutional Court.
In its application to the Constitutional Court to vary or suspend the February 3 nullification of the presidential election, the electoral commission highlighted challenges in the procurement of electoral materials as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, the restrictions on the number of people that can congregate at any given time will impact on the recruitment and training of electoral officers. Training is often conducted in groups of 40 to 50 participants.
Additionally, the distribution of voting materials to polling stations would be affected as the commission struggles to comply with Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.
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