Despite political parties indicating they are prepared for parliamentary by-elections, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is yet to make a decision on whether to hold the polls in the wake of Covid-19.
MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika in an interview yesterday said MEC is consulting stakeholders on the by-elections in constituencies that fell vacant, adding the electoral body will soon communicate to the public its final decision.
He said: “We are discussing with stakeholders involved on this and a position will be made soon on the way forward. We will announce to the public once a decision is made, probably by end of this week or next week.”
Alfandika stressed that everyone is aware of the risks of Covid-19. He said the matter is a serious issue that needs to be properly handled.
Political parties told The Nation a couple of weeks ago that they are ready to hold the by-elections and that they will follow MEC’s decision.
University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political science lecturer Mustafa Hussein said the fact that the country held the June 23 presidential election amid Covid-19 shows the parliamentary by-election can also be conducted.
His University of Livingstonia counterpart George Phiri said the best time to hold the election is now, adding no one knows when Covid-19 will end.
MEC is expected to hold by-elections in Mangochi West, Mangochi North East, Phalombe North, Lilongwe North West and Karonga Central which currently have no parliamentary representation.