By Wezzie Gausi:
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has assured that it would hold credible parliamentary by-election in Lilongwe South on November 5 2019.
Mec Commissioner, Elvey Mtafu, made the assurance Tuesday in Lilongwe at a training session on registration of voters and inspection of voters register at Malingunde.
“As far as the commission is concerned, there is nothing that will hinder us from holding the by-election. We strongly believe in our Constitutional mandate to hold elections.
“We understand claims by some quarters that the May 21 [tripartite] elections were not eligible. Well, that is what they feel and the good thing is that the case is in court. We will wait to hear what the court says and we will take it up from there,” Mtafu said.
Biometric Voters Registration Kit Operator, Vitumbiko Manda, said the training was a timely refresher for them.
Recently, UTM and other stakeholders such as Human Rights Defenders Coalition expressed worry over Mec holding the by-election in view of the disputed May 21 polls.
The elections failed to take place in May following the death of the then UTM parliamentary candidate Agnes Penemulungu.
Mec launched the by-election in the constituency on Sunday when Malawi Congress Party candidate Peter Dimba and his Democratic Progressive Party counterpart Frank Mazizi welcomed the polls while UTM deputy director of elections Bright Kawaga had reservations with the commission’s ability to conduct free and fair elections.