The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said it will not allow political parties to replace—after the end of nomination period—candidates that the poll body may reject, saying parties should ensure they present candidates that are eligible to contest according to the law.
The commission’s chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said at a National Election Consultative Forum (Necof) — said they will not allow political parties to substitute sponsored candidates that would be rejected by the commission.
“It must be emphasized that eligibility for nomination to contest as candidates as President, Member of Parliament or Councillor is governed by law. The law provides for who is eligible or not. Therefore, it is advisable that the candidates you choose should be eligible to contest,” said Ansah.
“ If found to be ineligible the candidates will be disqualified. Once disqualified, there shall be no room for nomination by substitution. Political parties whose candidates will have been disqualified will not be given a second chance to identify another candidate,” she added.
Ansah said the nomination criteria is “very simple and straight forward and if adhered to we will not have issues of illegitimacy.”
She added: “ Let me also remind all aspiring candidates that the law strictly provides that that all public officers are not eligible for nomination unless they first resign from their roles as public servants or officers.”
MEC is expected to validate all presidential, parliamentary and local council candidates next year ahead of the May 21 2019 tripartite polls.
Meanwhile. Statistic provided by MEC shows that 73 out of every 100 eligible voters registered in the first phase of the voter registration exercise in Dedza, Kasungu and Salima districts.
The electoral body say this was a matter of concern and the commission is yet to conclusively analyse the factors that could have caused the low turnout..
Spokesperson for MEC, Sangwani Mwafulirwa said out of the projected one million voters in Kasungu, Nkhotakota and Salima, only 798 351—out of which 438 135 are females—registered.
“As MEC, we are not satisfied with the turn out,” said Mwafulirwa.
He however ruled out extension of the registration in the three districts, saying this would affect the MEC calendar as well as the budget for the elections.
But the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publicist Nicholas Dausi exchanged barbs on Tuesday at a high level elections stakeholders meeting in Lilongwe over who is to blame for the low turn out for the registration exercise.
As the stakeholders heaped blame on MEC for lack of intensive civic education, Dausi put the blame squarely on the MCP for its failure to civic educate its supporters.
“The MCP failed to civic educate its supporters in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima. They should have taken advantage of funerals to sensitize people the need to go and register so that they vote.
” They should have held meetings with traditional leaders and church leaders to tell their subjects and faithful respectively to go and register, ” said Dausi.
However, this annoyed Mkaka who said Dausi had no power to speak on behalf of MEC.
MCP pressed MEC to consider reopening the registration exercise in the first phase districts where thousands of people failed to register.
“We would urge MEC to reconsider and commit to reopening voter registration in these areas,” said MCP secretary general.
Phase two of the registration exercise started on Friday in Mchinji, Dowa, Ntchisi and Nkhotakota and so far the turnout seems promising.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :