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Mec yet to identify ballot printer

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Eisenhower Mkaka

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is yet to identify a printer for the presidential election ballot papers 21 days before the court-ordered poll.

So far, Mec has received nomination papers of presidential candidates for the June 23 poll, launched the official campaign period and conducted the voter transfer and voting cards replacement (for those who lost them) exercise.

In an interview Monday, Mec Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said the commission will communicate when it identifies someone to print the ballot papers.

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Meanwhile, last week President Peter Mutharika wrote the Judicial Service Commission and political parties asking for names of people to be appointed as Mec Chairperson and commissioners, respectively.

According to the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act of 2018, only political parties with 10 percent representation in Parliament can submit names.

In this regard only the Democratic Progressive Party and Malawi Congress Party are the ones to submit names to the President for his approval.

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MCP Secretary-General, Eisenhower Mkaka, said the party has presented three names for Mutharika’s appointment, adding that it will not retain any commissioner who was found incompetent by the courts and the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament.

“We are looking at commissioners full of integrity, who are accountable and loyal to their country and the duties they were sent to do at the commission. So we will not retain any of the commissioners we had from our previous nominations,” Mkaka said.

On his part, DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said he cannot comment on the matter because as a party, they had not met to discuss on potential nominees.

Chancellor College Dean of Law Sunduzwayo Madise said the yet to appointed commissioners have no time to relax but to get to business the moment they are appointed.

“In fact, this is the time they are going to earn whatever they receive. We do not want a situation of uncertainty where they exceed the 150 days [that the court ordered]. So, let us not even give them the opportunity to delay things. They simply have to do as the courts said. I think we are in a tough period but everything can be done,” he said.

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