Even after the Constitutional Court admonished the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for handling incompetently the nullified May 21 2019 presidential election, the electoral body has called for presentation of nomination papers for the Liwawadzi Ward by-election in Balaka.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Democratic Progressive Party councillor Thomson Bwanali in October last year.
In a statement signed by chief elections officer Sam Alfandika dated February 8 2020, MEC says presentation of nomination papers will take place tomorrow, February 10 2020, from 9am at Chembera TDC.
“The commission is further encouraging all aspirants to take their nomination papers to the above-mentioned place for pre-inspection on Sunday, February 9 2020 [today] from 9am to 4pm.
“On the nomination day, all candidates and their representatives are asked to stick to their time as allocated by ward returning officer,” reads the statement, in part.
The commission is also informing all political parties that there will be no provision of nomination-by-substitution once a candidate is disqualified.
MEC is asking participants to ensure that candidates meet all the qualifications under the electoral laws.
“Aspiring candidates should also ensure that they have attached to their nomination papers the evidence of deposit of their nomination fees. The fees should be deposited with the bank before presentation of nomination papers,” it reads.
Nomination fees for male candidates is K40 000 while female contestants and people with disabilities will pay K20 000, and youths will pay K30 000.
Candidates are also being reminded that nomination papers can be presented on their behalf by their representatives.
“The candidates and their representatives are also advised to go for vetting of ballot paper templates on February 12 2020 from noon to 4pm at Chembera TDC,” the statement reads.
MEC chairperson Jane Ansah and the commissioners are facing public pressure to resign after the Constitutional Court that described them as “incompetent” annulled the presidential election and ordered fresh elections within 150 days.
The court reinstated Saulos Chilima as Vice-President, with Peter Mutharika remaining as President as per their May 2014 electoral mandate. Mutharika, who was first respondent in the presidential election petition case, and MEC as second respondent, have appealed against the ConCourt judgement of Healey Potani, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu, Mike Tembo and Ivy Kamanga.