MEC Sets November 10 for By-Elections
The Malawi Electoral Commission MEC has settled for November 10, 2020, as the day to conduct by-elections in some five constituencies and Makhuwira South Ward in Chikwawa district under strict Covid-19 prevention procedures.
In a statement issued on September 5, 2020, MEC Chairman Justice Chifundo Kachale said, “the Commission has planned to hold by-elections on 10th November, 2020 to fill five constituencies that are currently vacant. Three of the constituencies fell vacant because the court nullified their May 2019 election results. One constituency fell vacant due to resignation while the last one is because of the death of its Member of Parliament.
The court ordered by-elections will happen in Mangochi West, Mangochi North-East and Phalombe North constituencies.
In Karonga Central Constituency the vacancy was created after legislator Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda succumbed to COVID-19, and in Lilongwe North-West constituency following the resignation of incumbent Malawi president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on May 8 2020 prior to the tripartite elections.
In a separate interview, Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa told Zodiak Online that the by-elections will also be conducted in Makhuwira South ward.
The Ward councilor Mannick Gannet died after sustaining a gunshot wound, sustained from an accidental discharge by a police officer in the district.
Justice Kachale also disclosed that the official campaign period "shall start on 10th September 2020. As per requirement of the law, the campaign shall end at 06.00 AM on 8th November 2020”.
He added that the commission will open registration centers for new registrants while verification will run for two weeks starting from 14th to 27th September 2020.
Meanwhile, the commission has set a day on the electoral calendar for pre-examination of nomination papers, which according to the MEC Chair will help to address incidents where candidates were sent back for failing to meet all requirements.
Electoral stakeholders have also been given a chance to open and examine all electoral related materials a day before polling.