Jane Ansah Warns of Disqualifications in Lilongwe South MEC By-Election If ...
Malawi Electoral Commission chair, Dr. Jane Ansah, says her commission will now be left with no option but bar anyone found to be involved in acts that will jeopardize the holding of free, fair, credible and peaceful by-elections in Lilongwe South Constituency.
The warning comes after the process was twice postponed, the latest being a postponement occasioned by a process characterized with violence and intimidation during campaign.
The first postponement followed the death of UTM candidate Agnes Penemulungu.
“Anyone found engaging in such acts will be barred from participating in the electoral process. If he is a candidate, he will be disqualified,” warned Dr. Ansah at a press conference held in Lilongwe on Monday.
She recalled that the Commission had earlier planned to hold the by-election on November 5, 2019 but was postponed on 29th October, 2019. This also failed.
According to Dr. Ansah, the commission then engaged stakeholders who included “contesting candidates, chiefs, the Multiparty Liaison Committee and the secretary generals of contesting political parties through the Centre for Multiparty Democracy.
“Everyone expressed concern and deep regret with the violence that marred the process. They all assured the Commission that they will engage their subjects on the need to maintain law, peace and order during elections,” she told reporters.
The MEC chair handed to reporters a letter she said was written by chiefs from Lilongwe South Constituency to the commission and another by the MCP candidate in the area, urging the MEC to hold the by-election soon.
“From the stakeholders’ consultation meetings and letters from the chief and MCP candidate for the constituency, the Commission met and has resolved that by-elections should be held on Thursday, 30th January, 2020,” she said.
This afternoon, the Commission is slated to meeting with stakeholders in Lilongwe South Constituency to discuss in detail the process ahead.
Liwawadzi Ward by-elections
Dr. Jane Ansah also told reporters that by-elections for councilor’s election in Liwawadzi Ward in Balaka district shall be held on March the 5th, 2020.
“In preparation for this by-election, the Commission shall hold a stakeholders’ meeting on 28th January, 2020 in the ward where it shall provide all information about the election process and release the electoral calendar,” she said.
Liwawadzi ward in Balaka North Constituency ward fell vacant following death of DPP Councilor, Thomson Thomas Bwanali, on 25th October, 2019.
The MEC chair said her Commission was committed to delivering its mandate “as provided for in the law” in the said elections.