Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said it has no trust in Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec); hence, it will participate in the forthcoming Lilongwe South Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) by-election under protest while UTM said it will not take part.
The two parties were reacting to the announcement by Mec that it will conduct the election on January 30 2020 and announce the results on January 31.
MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka said the electoral body should have waited for the verdict on the presidential election petition case that is currently in the Constitution Court before holding the election.
He said the decision by MEC to proceed with the elections is “a sign of arrogance”, adding that Mec has “no regard for their moral stand”.
Mkaka said the presidential election case currently in court is affecting the electoral body’s integrity and morality; hence, the body “should have said we are in court, if we did things right, the court will vindicate us, so let’s wait”.
UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga told Malawi News that the party maintains its earlier stand that it would not participate in the election until the court case is concluded, arguing that this is not the right time.
“The issues that people are demonstrating is [calling for] the [Mec] chairperson [Justice Jane Ansah] to resign and she hasn’t resigned, so it means we still have issues that we need to resolve between Malawians and the Electoral Commission, so we haven’t resolved the issue and they say let’s hold elections, it doesn’t make sense,” Chidanti said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said the party has been waiting for the by-election and it is ready to participate.
Mec spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the body will go ahead with the election.
Mwafulirwa said, when the elections in Lilongwe South Constituency were postponed, Mec engaged all stakeholders including members of the Multiparty Liaison Committee,
traditional leaders and all contesting in the polls.
“In all the meetings, stakeholders regretted the violence that led to the postponement of the elections. They all urged the commission to resume the process and they promised to talk to their members and subjects to refrain from violence,” Mwafulirwa said.
He advised people in their area to exercise their constitutional right by participating in the voting process and come out in large numbers.
The by-election which was scheduled to take place on November 5 was also postponed in October last year.
Mec issued a statement citing political tension as being the main cause of the decision.
Initially, the elections in the area failed to take place in May last year due to death of one of the MP candidates, UTM’s Agnes Penemulungu.