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Court stops Mec from registering new voters

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Sangwani Mwafulirwa

The High Court in Blantyre has ruled against Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec)’s decision to conduct fresh registration of voters in constituencies whose 2019 election results were nullified over irregularities.

The court has also ordered that only candidates who competed in the 2019 parliamentary race in the affected constituencies should take part in the fresh polls.

This means that the commission will disqualify all candidates that have already presented nominations papers but they did not compete during the 2019 elections in Phalombe North, Mangochi West and Mangochi North East constituencies.

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The decision by the court follows an injunction which was obtained by independent candidate for Mangochi North East Constituency Martin Nyengo through lawyer Chimwemwe Kalua stopping Mec from registering new members until the court interprets if it was necessary to do so.

“It is true that the High Court has ruled in our favour. What it means is that the Commission will use the 2019 voters roll during the November 10 fresh polls. In addition to that, there will be no new candidates who will take part in the fresh polls,” Kalua said.

As it stands, only Karonga Central Constituency which fellow vacant after the death of Malawi Congress Party legislator Cornelius Mwalwanda and Lilongwe North West Constituency which become vacant when President Lazarus Chakwera resigned to compete in the presidential election on June 23, will be allowed to follow all the traditional electoral processes such as registration of voters and receiving nomination papers from everyone willing to compete.

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Mec Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the electoral body will soon meet to discuss the court’s determination and map the way forward to make sure that the November 10 electoral calendar is not affected.

He said Mec will also review the presentation of nomination papers process to check if all candidates are complying with the electoral laws.

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