“MEC Continues to Contest Court Judgment” – Expert
A leadership and governance expert says MEC roll out of an electoral calendar on Monday is the commission’s continued contestation of 3rd February judgment that nullified the 2019 elections.
The expert, Dr. Henry Chingaipe, argues that members of the commission that has rolled out the calendar are the same that parliament, assigned by the court, found to be incompetent.
Dr. Chingaipe has fears this may spoil the electoral process as the current commission does not return the trust of all voters to administer the fresh elections.
Chingaipe was reacting to MEC's announcement of the official electoral calendar for the elections which MEC says will take place on July 2, contrary to parliament's 19th May 2020.
“Having come out of that court process wounded, the MEC is trying to defend their position to Malawians that they run a credible election, but that does not hold,” Chingaipe said.
MEC rolled out the electoral calendar for the fresh presidential election with a note that success of the plan would “be subject to mitigation of the impact of the coronavirus” citing possible ‘travel embargos and shutdown of election materials production companies’.
Chairperson of the commission, Dr. Jane Ansah, said this in Blantyre where she also announced that “The Commission has done its ground work and is ready to hold these elections on 2 July, 2020” the 149th day from the day the court ordered elections to be held within 150 days.
But in a separate interview later, Dr. Chingaipe: “All the commissioners except one, have contracts ending in June. In which case they will not have the mandate to run the elections on July . There are a couple of ways to go about it. Negotiate their release by giving them their benefits even before expiry of contracts or compel the president further to remove them”.
Chingaipe said there is no trust in the commission at the moment after Parliament and the judiciary found them to be incompetent in the manner they managed the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ansah announced, official campaign shall roll out from 2nd May to 30th June whereas candidates’ nominations shall be presented on 23rd and 24th April.
“Every political party and candidate shall have the right to monitor each phase of the electoral process. They shall do so through designated representatives,” she said stressing this is meant to guarantee transparency and credibility of the whole process adding “The Commission shall also extend invitations to both local and international observers”.
Dr. Ansah announced that registration of voters shall run from 4th April to 7th June 2020 and that this exercise will include those that have turned 18 or will attain voting age by 7 June 2020.
She said the Commission shall announce results of the presidential elections any day from 3rd to 10th July.