Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will today open registration for new voters and inspection of the voters’ roll in areas it will hold by-elections on October 17.
The registration and inspection exercises will close next Monday, according to a statement signed by MEC acting chief elections officer Harris Potani.
In the same statement, MEC has also asked political parties and aspirants to collect their nomination papers from the constituency/ward returning offices and council headquarters in their areas.
Reads the statement in part: “The Commission will receive the nomination papers on September 8, but aspirants are encouraged to take their nominations for pre-inspection on September 7 at their constituency/ward returning office.”
MEC is set to hold by-elections in three parliamentary constituencies of Lilongwe Msozi North, Lilongwe City South East and Nsanje Lalanje and three local government wards, namely Mayani North Ward in Dedza North Constituency, Mtsiliza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency and Ndirande Makata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency.
Last month, MEC announced that it will hold by-elections in the three constituencies and three wards on October 17 after it had failed to conduct the elections on June 6 this year citing financial hiccups.
Speaking at the launch of the by-elections in Lilongwe last Thursday, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said the commission will implement a new vote tallying proposal as proposed in the electoral reforms during the by-elections.
The new elections results management system requires writing both in figures and in words to check against manipulation.
By-lections in Lilongwe City South East follow a Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal order for a rerun after noting that there were irregularities in the parliamentary race on May 20 2014 whereas in the other five areas the vacancies were created following deaths of office holders.
The court nullified the May 20 2014 parliamentary results in Lilongwe City South East that declared Bently Namasasu of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winner. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) contestant in the elections, Ulemu Msungama, challenged the results on the basis of irregularities, something the court agreed with. n