Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has said as of Monday, four political parties and four independent candidates had collected nominations papers ahead of the fresh presidential election scheduled for July 2.
Presentation of the papers is expected to be done on April 23 and 24, meaning candidates willing to participate in the poll should have the papers ready by these days.
Mec Director of Media and Communications, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, told The Daily Times that Democratic Progress Party, New Republican Party, New Vision for Democracy and Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy have collected the papers.
Independent candidates David Chikomeni Chirwa, Smart Swira, Henry Mbebwe and Phunziro Mvula have also collected their nomination papers.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM alliance was yet to collect their nomination papers by the time we went to press.
Mwafulirwa said Mec will not extend the period of collecting nomination papers since “political parties and interested individuals have ample time to collect the forms and get signatories from all the district councils”.
“Our appeal is to everyone who is interested to collect the nominations papers that the process of filling and meeting the requirements is an elaborate one and requires time because we will need 10 signatures from all the districts including Likoma,” he said.
Mwafulirwa also said Mec will not accept nomination papers that do not have the required signatures and proof of nomination fee attached.
MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali Monday said the MCP/ UTM alliance has not yet collected the nomination papers because they are yet to announce their torchbearer.
“We know that we have kept our supporters and all Malawians under wraps for a long time but we are assuring Malawians that we are going to feature a candidate who will be unveiled soon,” Munthali said.
Meanwhile, Mwafulirwa has said Mec will not suspend the second phase of voter registration as proposed by some chiefs in the Southern Region unless the court nods to their application.
The High Court in Lilongwe last week threw out an application by Mec to stop the ongoing voter registration exercise because the application “was wrongly brought before a subordinate court”.