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‘Cassim Chilumpha disqualification won’t affect ballot printing’

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By Pilirani Kachinziri:

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has said the High Court ruling which barred Cassim Chilumpha from contesting on Tikonze People’s Movement (TPM) ticket will not have any effect on the printing of May 21 Tripartite Elections’ presidential ballot papers.

Mec contracted a Dubai company, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC, to print the ballot papers.

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Mec Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said at the time of the ruling they had not started printing presidential ballot papers.

“We started printing parliamentary and Local Government ballot papers. We had not yet started [printing] presidential ballot papers. This is why we have said he [Chilumpha] would not be on the ballot paper,” he said.

Mwafulirwa said the ballot papers will be ready for shipping to Malawi by April 30.

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On Thursday last week, the High Court blocked Mec from recognising Chilumpha as TPM candidate in the forthcoming polls.

The court ruled that Chilumpha’s nomination papers had irregularities as he was not sanctioned by the party to represent it.

TPM was a merger of six political parties—Malawi Forum for Unity and Development, People’s Progressive Movement, New Labour Party, Republican Party, Malawi Democratic Party and Assembly for Democracy and Development.

Mec has also asked the electoral staff to exercise caution when receiving and inspecting polling materials.

The polling materials are expected to be distributed on May 15 and inspection of the materials is scheduled for May 19.

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