A political movement called Transformation Alliance (T.A) headed by Moses Kunkuyu has petitioned Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) cautioning the electoral body over what they call “replicating of the election mess that dodged the 2014 tripartite elections”.
This follows continued silence by MEC causing a delay in the progress of holding a re-run for the controversial Lilongwe City South East Constituency Polls.
Nyasa Times can confirm that TA officials had a closed door meeting with MEC officials on Thursday where a petition was presented.
“TA officials are at MEC (Thursday morning) presenting a petition on their suspiciously slow pace on the Lilongwe City South East Constituency issue,” confirmed our source.
A panel of three Supreme Court Judges comprising of Justice Edward Twea, Justice Lovemore Chikopa, and Justice Antony Kamanga ordered that there shall be a rerun in Lilongwe South East Constituency following an appeal by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Ulemu Msungama.
Msungama challenged Bently Namasasu who was declared winner arguing there were serious irregularities during the 2014 voting process.
Recently, acting Chief Elections Officer at MEC Nthandie Nkovole pleaded for patience before they settle for a rerun claiming their are several factors to be looked into since it will be the first time in the history of Malawi to hold such an election.
“To that extent, there is a need for critical study of the judgement delivered March 6, 2007 and also provisions of the existing laws inorder to come up with an acceptable procedure in conducting the rerun,” said Nkovile in a statement released after the Supreme Court
But in a petition delivered to MEC and seen by Nyasatimes titled ‘Concern and Caution on the Lilongwe City South East By-elections, the political movement says the current scenario reveals serious undemocratic glaring gaps on election management in the country.
It further states that this gives MEC a tough assignment ahead of the 2019 general elections.
In the statement which is signed by the movement’s Administrative Secretary Charles Mwambyale, the electoral reforms needs at all cost to address ‘shameful deficiencies’ that previously raised fears that the commission is partisan and dependent in providing operational directions and guidance.
The alliance further appealed to election observers (Both Local and International) during polls to refrain from promotove excitement of rushed declarations of elections as free and fair without due diligent assessment of the petitions and complaints of unfairness from other
“We are certain the observers could have made a differnet declaration if they seriously delved into the grey areas exposed by the court in its determination” reads the statement in refererence to the Lilongwe South East saga.
TA has also expressed surprise with the delay by the commission’s and parliament’s reluctance in writing the Attorney Generals Office which already indicated readiness to advise on Lilongwe South East puzzle within 14 days of receiving a written request.
“Such slow movements leave people with more questions without answers and breeds sispicion”
“We therefore appeal to the Commission to fast track the consultations that will give some light on the way forward on Lilongwe City South East Constituency so that the Constituants can have a presentation in parliament to voice out their concerns” the statement reads.
The petition concludes by calling upon MEC to seriously reflect in the highly questionable 2014 elections and engage democratic interventions through the on-going electoral law reforms to achieve ‘genuinely free and fair elections in 2019’ where the winner will get unquestionable mandate of the people as oppose to the events of previous elections.
Meanwhile, there have also been several calls from political commentators again asking MEC to fasten the process because further delay will dent the image of Malawi’s democracy.
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