Govt Releases K2.6 Billion for By-Elections

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Government has released K2.6 billion to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for holding of by-elections in seven constituencies and two wards.

MEC Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafuliwa says the funds have been released in tandem with MEC’s budget for holding by-elections.

“This is according to the budget which the Commission submitted and we have been funded in entirety so there is no deficit regarding what we need to hold the by-elections,” he said.

Mwafulirwa further said the budget was revised downwards following MEC’s decision to hold the polls in all the nine areas at once.

“You might wish to recall that initially the Commission had wanted to hold the by-elections separately, starting with areas where vacancies had arisen following court’s nullification of 2019 elections.

“When we consulted stakeholders, the Commission reversed its decision and resorted to holding the polls at once. So, the budget had to be revised downwards from above K3 billion to K2.6 billion,” said Mwafulirwa.

MEC will hold the by-elections in question on March 30, 2021.

The by-elections will be held in Nsanje North Constituency, Nsanje Central Constituency, Chikwawa East Constituency, Ntchisi North, Lilongwe Nsinja South, Karonga North West and Zomba Changalume constituencies, and also from the two wards of Riviridzi in Balaka and Chitakale in Mulanje districts.

The by-elections in the lower shire follow the High Court’s February 4. 2021 judgement which nullified 2019 parliamentary elections in the three constituencies.

In the other constituencies the polls will be held following the death of four members of parliament and two ward councilors.

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