Voter registration facing cancellation to safeguard ‘right to life’: Covid-19 could mar Malawi fresh election

As concern is growing that a woefully inadequate health system will leave Malawi unable to cope with the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, there has been calls to halt the voter registration exercise for  July 2 presidential fresh elections in view of the social distance measures.

Could voter registration be done with physical distancing measures?

Malawi has so far recorded four cases of Covid-19 and fears are that the number could surge with more testing.

While special Cabinet Committee on Saturday refused to address a question on whether the voter registration will proceed or not, its chairperson Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango simply said: “There cannot be elections without humans.”

Taking his turn, Secretary for Health Dan Namarika said the right to life has to be safeguarded.

He said voter registration is a contradiction to set measures which include social distance.

Namarika said voter registration may aggravate the spread of the virus and therefore was of the view to cancel it.

He said resources must be channeled to the fight against Coronavirus.

“Are you sure we should prioritise elections over Covid-19?” asked Namarika who said has made a similar presentation to Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD).

Kandi Padambo, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) chairperson, said it is important to follow medical experts’ advice if the virus has an implication worth suspension of the electoral process.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah already conceded today that it might be difficult to conduct the polls due to coronavirus pandemic.

She said the outbreak—which has resulted in President Peter Mutharika declaring a State of Disaster—might impact of the process leading to the electoral body failing to conduct the election within the timeframe of 150 days as stipulated by the Constitutional Court (Concourt) on February 3.

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Kambewa Chisale
5 months ago

In view the coronavirus voting registration process should be delayed until further notice. My fellow Malawians let us put the lives of people first.

Lucky Mbachi
Lucky Mbachi
5 months ago

Mali has elections on 29 April 2020 and will have a rerun on 19 May 2020 no cause of alarm. The worst can happen if you postpone the fresh elections

If it was a threat to life they could have postponed it

Mtete
Mtete
5 months ago

Right to life ofcource. Njauju and Chasowa were very unlucky

Bondo
Bondo
5 months ago

we can queue 1m apart, wash hands before registering. sikumazazaso kolembesa.

Banda
Banda
5 months ago

The opposition should think twice about their vindictive and violent approaches. They have destroyed businesses and property, recruited violent thugs – all because Chakwera and Chilima want power. Corona-virus has come to make you think very carefully.

Mtete
Mtete
5 months ago
Reply to  Banda

Cadet?

Bibo
Bibo
5 months ago

In fact, Karma is working against DPP in the sense that Mutharika wants to use the incompetent MEC for fresh elections. By the time the Coronavirus pandemic is contained, MEC’s term will have expired and Jane Ansah will have retired by October. It does not matter holding elections next year as long as a compromised MEC is no longer in charge. So this current Coronavirus crisis might be a blessing in disguise for the opposition. Also, the Supreme Court has a job to do regarding Cocourt ruling and it makes more sense to have the whole constitutional court judgment given… Read more »

Phiri
Phiri
5 months ago
Reply to  Bibo

Weren’t you rejoicing that voting was to be in May – not matter what? Now you are the same people accepting that elections can’t happen. Corona-virus is a sort of Karma on the opposition for bribing judges who actually made a very flawed judgement. There is no constitutional backing for elections even as MEC has shifted the dates and the opposition, which failed to change the constitution, does NOT still have a 2/3 majority.

Munthu
Munthu
5 months ago

Voter registration may be delayed, but sooner or later Malawians will have to vote.
My prayer is that we may live in a country that will be guided by leaders that will put the love of humanity above their love of money and popularity.

Cancel the election
Cancel the election
5 months ago

Karma is working against utmcp grand alliance

Pilu
Pilu
5 months ago

True, Karma on the MCP-UTM grand alliance.

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