Written By: Maneno Chimulala 

BLANTYER (MaraviPost)—As Malawians are waiting with bated breaths the appointment of new Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners by the State President Peter Mutharika, the opposition parties, while asking the president to appoint people of high integrity, have differed on the relocation of the electoral body’s headquarters.

The current commissioners’ term of office expires in May of 2016.

Speaking to Capital FM during Day Break Malawi monitored by Maravi Post, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Public Relations Officer Alekeni Menyani reiterated the party’s quest to have the Mec headquarters relocated to the Capital City of Lilongwe.

“It’s not about politics but the trend is that all key government departments are located in the Capital city. Therefore, it is our wish to have Malawi Elections Commission headquarters moved to Lilongwe,” said Menyani.

Menyani also asked the appointing authority to appoint commissioners who have a background of integrity and have peoples trust.

However, People’s Party (PP) Vice President for the north Kamlepo Kaluwa argued that the location of the electoral body’s command centre has nothing to do with fair and free elections.

“The location of the Mec headquarters doesn’t matter. What matters is who these appointed as commissioners are even if the electoral body can be located in Karonga or Rumphi. We need people of high integrity to avoid irregularities that marred the 2014 tripartite elections,” said Kaluwa.

The current commissioners attracted the wrath of people especially opposition parties’ members after the 2014 general elections due glaring irregularities which characterized the first ever tripartite elections. To affirm that the elections were not handled professionally, MEC) Chairperson Maxon Mbendera cried while announcing the winner.

However, Mbendera recently said commissioners, including himself were available for reappointment for another five year term while asking President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to act with speed in appointing new commissioners’, saying this will help the new reign to fully prepare for the 2019 general elections.

“The commissioners are available should the government decide to reappoint them for another term but this should be done as soon as possible so that preparations for the 2019 elections starts,” said Mbendera.

Recently President Mutharika criticized MEC Commissioners’ for being on the forefront in the plunder of funds where money amounting to MK1.5 billion was swindled.

But Mbendera trashed the claims, saying the Audit report was not final.

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