Lilongwe-South constituents have petitioned Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) over delays to conduct parliamentary by-election in the area.
In a petition dated August 26 2019, and signed by over 50 members of community from Traditional Authority (T/A) Masumbankhunda, the concerned group says the delay was denying them their constitutional right to have a representative in Parliament, a development that is also affecting their access to Constituency Development Fund.
“The Malawi Constitution clearly stipulates that a constituency shall not remain unrepresented for more than 60 days but it is now three months since elections in our constituency were called off,” the petition reads.
The group has given Mec five days to respond to their concerns.
Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Tuesday said the environment was hostile for the commission to hold the by-elections.
“We are watching the situation and all developments. When it becomes conducive to hold an election, we will do that as soon as we can. At the moment, it is difficult because of hostility stirred by political statements. You are aware of how Mec staff and lawyers were victimised in Kasungu [District] and other districts recently,” he said
“When was everything is ready, Mec will announce a programme for the elections but, at the moment, I can’t say when this would be. This is also not related to the on-going court case regarding presidential elections. They are two different issues.”
Mec postponed the election in the area following the death of UTM candidate Agnes Penemulungu in April, a few weeks before the May 21 Tripartite Elections.