BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Legal expert Sunduzwayo Madise has questioned the legality of the suspension of the voter registration exercise conducted by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in some selected districts in readiness for the fresh election.
The special cabinet on covid-19 has today announced suspension of the registration exercise in the wake of revelations that the country has recorded three new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number to eight.
However, Madise in his post on social media has indicated that the cabinet taskforce has no any legal mandate to suspend the exercise.
“I hear that the Cabinet taskforce on Covid-19 has [just] announced suspension of the voter registration exercise by the Electoral Commission (EC)? Does this taskforce have the power to suspend the registration exercise? Under what legal authority?,” queried Madise.
“The decision to suspend the voting registration exercise is reasonable in the circumstances of the Covid 19 pandemnic, even welcome. However, in my view, the wrong institution has made the’order considering further that the fresh election is court-sanction with specific ancillary orders. The EC (electoral commission) should have made that decision. Even in times of pandemic, the rule of law must prevail,” he added.
Before Madise’s reaction to the suspension, one of the legal commentators on social media LordDenning QB commended the move but also questioned its legality saying the order might have come from the institution that has no such powers.
“The Cancellation of voter registration exercise (its being alleged that it has been cancelled) is long overdue and was so necessary. The exercise was capable of transmitting the pandemic to the rural dwell ants that lack every capacity to withstand it.
“However, has the cancellation (if indeed it has happened) followed the due process or has it been done under some unavailable powers in a certain authority? I believe it has not been done ultra vires but in strict adherence to applicable procedure or law. Otherwise, this is what Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda would discharge his anger for,” wrote LordDenning QB on his facebook page.
MEC has not yet commented on matter.
Malawi has so far registered one covid-19 death.