MEC Acknowledges June 23rd as Date For Fresh Presidential Election

Kachale: Has invited aspirants for talks going forward Kachale: Has invited aspirants for talks going forward pic File Photo

New chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, Dr. Chifundo Kachale, says MEC will be gazetting June 23 as the date for the fresh presidential election as per the 9th June resolution of Parliament.

Dr. Kachale says this follows receipt of official communication from the Clerk of Parliament on the same. 

Meanwhile, he says, MEC will be engaging contesting candidates to appraise them of anticipated challenges and explore possible mitigation measures to ensure a credible, free and fair election.

The date of June 23rd, which parliament has arrived at, was earlier also proposed by the previous cohort at MEC as the most ideal in the circumstances to comply with the Supreme Court order for the country to hold the fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3rd, 2020. There are 12 days to go.

New chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, Dr. Chifundo Kachale, says MEC will be gazetting June 23 as the date for the fresh presidential election as per the 9th June resolution of Parliament.

Dr. Kachale says this follows receipt of official communication from the Clerk of Parliament on the same. 

Meanwhile, he says, MEC will be engaging contesting candidates to appraise them of anticipated challenges and explore possible mitigation measures to ensure a credible, free and fair election.

The date of June 23rd, which parliament has arrived at, was earlier also proposed by the previous cohort at MEC as the most ideal in the circumstances to comply with the Supreme Court order for the country to hold the fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3rd, 2020. There are 12 days to go.

“The Commission’s decision to publish the polling date has been arrived at with considerable hesitation considering arising from the practicalities of holding a genuine and credible election in view of logistical challenges that the commission anticipates in implementing steps towards the holding of the polls,” says Kachale.

Parliament on Wednesday shot-down a constitutional amendment bill tabled by government, which aimed to change Section 80 Subsection 1 of the constitution before the fresh presidential election.

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Bright Msaka, brought the bill in parliament saying this was in line with the court order in the Presidential election case. However, the opposition objected arguing that the date of the election had already been set the previous day through a private member’s motion.

Although there was resistance from the opposition, the government side managed to have all necessary procedures followed until the bill was supposed to be approved by two thirds of available legislators,  to become  a law.

The bill was shot after only 92 of the required 126 parliamentarians supported it in a vote.

“Hopefully the opposition will reflect on what has happened and support the bill when we bring it back,” said Msaka.

Asked if government will take any action if the office of the Speaker of Parliament communicates to the Malawi Electoral Commission that the poll be held in reference to a motion passed by the house Tuesday,  Msaka said implementation of the resolution will not be effective as there is no amendment of relevant legislation. But speaking on behalf of the opposition Malawi Congress Party, MP Richard Chimwendo Banda said it was unnecessary to table the issue of the date of the election as that had been dealt with.

As leader of Alliance for Democracy-AFORD, Yeremiah Chihana, made his contribution to the bill, Information minister, Mark Botoman, was ordered out of the chamber for pushing Chihana to withdraw and apologize for insinuating that the country does not have a president.

Chihana later withdrew the statement.

 

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