Mec stops fresh voter registration


The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has announced an end to phase two of the voter registration exercise which was taking place in some parts of the country, in outright compliance with the ruling delivered by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) which upheld the February Constitutional Court’s judgement which nullified the May 21, 2020 presidential election.

Instead, a statement released yesterday Mec has said the registration centres will however remain open to process transfers or replace voter certificates that were lost.

“The Commission is informing all stakeholders that all the new voter registrations that took place in phase one and the current phase have been invalidated and will not be incorporated in the 2019 tripartite elections voters’ register as per SCA judgement,” reads the statement signed by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Sam Alfandika.


The statement has further advised all persons who registered in the May 2019 tripartite elections and have changed places of residence to go and process transfers at the center where they wish to cast their vote.

“Those who have lost their certificates are encouraged to go to the center where they registered to get a duplicate certificate that will enable them to vote,” the statement adds.

Speaking separately Director of Communication at the Mec Sangwani Mwafulirwa added said that the nomination process of the presidential candidates which took place last week has since been invalidated by the judgement.


Asked on what’s next from the commission as regards the candidates, their running mates and other electoral processes, Mwafulirwa said: “The commission is meeting to study the judgement and plan the way forward. Stakeholders will be informed.”

With the SCA ordering that only candidates that contested in the nullified election qualify to run in the fresh one, questions have been raise on whether the newly formed electoral alliances [Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF)] are legally binding.

Weighing in on the matter, Dean of Legal Studies at Chancellor College Sunduzwayo Madise said the alliances are safe. “What the court essentially said is only those who contested are eligible to contest, but if a person withdraws their candidature to support another person or enter into an alliance I don’t think that is inconsistent with the judgement at all,” Madise explained.

He stressed that apparently there is nothing stopping presidential candidates from changing running mates like Lazarus Chakwera and Peter Mutharika have done. “The focus is on those running for the office of president; a running mate is not a candidate. And the presidential candidate has he liberty to appoint or nominate a running mate of their choice whenever.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” he added. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has made fresh calls for the resignation of Mec Chairperson Jane Ansah, citing her failure to step down will force the group to revert to nationwide protests.

Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe on yesterday HRDC Chairperson for the Central Region Billy Mayaya said there is need for a new commission to be ushered in to manage the fresh poll.

“Let Ansah resign immediately if she wants people to respect her. We want to remind her because she made a promise that she would resign if the SCA finds her incompetent,” Mayaya said.

He opined that it is unlikely that the current Mec can deliver a free, fair and credible election. We failed to get a reaction from the embattled chairperson as her mobile phone was apparently switched off when we tried it several times.

Ansah told the Parliamentary Committee on Public Affairs (Pac) on February 12 this year that she will resign from her position only after the SCA finds her and fellow commissioners at fault, as regards how they managed the 2019 elections.

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