LILONGWE-(Maravi Post)- The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), is protesting against the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) decision to conduct by-election instead of re-run in Lilongwe City South-East Constituency, arguing that it contravenes the Supreme Court Appeal order.
The MCP’s protest comes barely a few days after the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah on Tuesday this week announced that the Commission would hold a by-election in the constituency on June 6, 2017. Ansah said the by-election will be an open race, meaning that all those interested parties could field candidates. This comes after carefully studying the judgement of the Supreme Court, Ansah in defense of the MEC decision.
She added that the constituency will follow the normal elections procedures, where voters will be registered and aspirants expected to submit nominations papers. The electoral body assured all stakeholders, that it respects the Supreme Court ruling after contrary to MEC having declared Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Bantly Namasasu winner, against Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Ulemu Msungama, who consequently challenged the 2014 tripartite elections results.
The Commission’s decision however, has not been well-received by the MCP, who argue that only a re-run was supposed to be conducted instead of by-elections.
In the Party’s letter, dated April 5, 2017, sourced by The Maravi Post, the Party argues that it is unfair for the MEC to make an open decision for the polls when other contestants did not protest the results. The Party expresses concern over the Commission’s decision and expressed the MCP’s fears that a wrong precedent is being set if court decisions can be interpreted and changed in anyway as has been done by the MEC.
The MCP is awaiting to get a response from the electoral body, and has informed that after not being satisfied, it would seek a court interpretation on the matter.
But the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) Chairperson, Steve Duwa, chided the MCP said it was merely dragging the matter. Duwa said the MCP needs to only to support and implement what was discussed and agreed upon during the National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) conference that a by-election was the way to go as Malawi does not have laws regarding to re-runs.