FPE Ballot Papers Expected June 19
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says the company identified to print ballot papers for the June 23 fresh presidential election (FPE) will commence the work immediately following publishing of the polling day in the Malawi Gazette.
A statement signed by the new chairperson, Justice Chifundo Kachale, says the resolution was made at a meeting the commission held in Blantyre on Thursday.
In the statement, Justice Kachale says the printer, Al Ghurair and Publishing of United Arab Emirates, will require seven days to undertake the task and deliver the ballot papers by June 19, all factors being constant.
Justice Kachale has reiterated his plan to directly engage candidates participating in the election on the anticipated logistical challenges and possible mitigation factors.
In the rerun election, ordered by the courts, President Peter Mutharika of the DPP-UDF Alliance will be facing Lazarus Chakwera of Tonse Alliance and Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development.
The High Court and Supreme Court concurred on the nullification of the May 21, 2019 polls won by Mutharika on grounds of gross irregularities in their respective rulings of February 3 and May 8.
There are concerns of a race against time as it was only on June 9 that parliament passed a resolution to gazette June 23 as the polling, effectively meaning the country had about two weeks to complete logistics for the election.
The initial ruling ordered the poll to be held in 150 days but in between there have recurrent legal, administrative and political battles that cast the holding of the election in uncertainty.