Parliament Sets 19 May as Date For Fresh Presidential Poll
Parliament systematically avoided contempt of court on Monday afternoon by amending the Electoral Commission Act and the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA) which the Constitutional Court ordered in its judgment of the Presidential election petition.
The amended PPEA among other things say the next general election will be held on Tuesday in the third week of May 2025.
Following the amendments, Parliament has agreed that fresh that the fresh Presidential poll will be held on May 19.
The PPEA Amendment Bill also provides that in the event where no candidate has managed to get 50 percent plus 1 vote of the total cast votes runoff polls should be held within 30 days with two front runners battling it out.
Further to the amendments inspired by the decision of the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court that nullified the 21 May 2019 presidential election due to irregularities, the term of office for Members of Parliament and Ward Councilors has been extended to six years.
The house also changed the Electoral Commission Act to guide the appointment of MEC chairperson.
On this a judge shall be nominated by the Judicial Service Commission and submitted to the Public Appointments Committee which will recommend the name to the President.
The amended Bill also provides that all political parties represented in Parliament will have to nominate three names for the post of MEC commissioner.
Previously only political parties with over 2 MPs were at liberty to nominate commissioners.
Speaking after the house passed the Bills, Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs Kezzie Msukwa said what remains now is for the president to assent to the Bills or not.
“From her the amended Bills will be sent to the President who will either assent to or reject them within 21 days,” Msukwa said.
In its 3 February judgment on the presidential election petition, the Constitutional Court advised Parliament to amend Electoral Laws in 21 days to facilitate smooth implementation of the 50 percent plus 1 vote provision of electing president, and provide guidance on what would happen when no candidate gets the said mark.
The court ordered for fresh presidential elections to be held in 150 days from the day the judgment was delivered.