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MEC to hold Lilongwe city South East constituency by-elections June 6; open for all

Namasasu (L) and Msungama (R)

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- Barely a month after the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal ordered for the re-run of the Lilongwe City South East Constituency parliamentary poll, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has set June 6, 2017 to hold by-elections.

 

MEC chairperson, who is also a Supreme Court Justice, Dr. Jane Ansah, made the announcement on Tuesday in the capital Lilongwe, during the first-ever National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) conference, which aims to iron out electoral challenges in the country.

 

Ansah told the gathering that the by-elections will be an open race to all interested parties, after carefully studying the judgement of the Supreme Court.

 

She added that the constituency will follow the normal elections procedures where voters will be registered, and aspirants are also expected to submit their nominations papers.

 

The MEC chairperson said the commission respects the court ruling after it had previously declared Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Bantly Namasasu winner against Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Ulemu Msungama. The MCP candidate consequently, challenged the 2014 tripartite elections results as announced by the MEC.

 

There were seven candidates, including three independents, that competed in the constituency in the 2014 tripartite elections.

 

“The commission respects the ruling of the Supreme Court, and indeed any other court on the land. Since the passing of the judgment, the commission met to study it, and plan how to conduct the re-run. That is why we have decided to conduct a by-election in that constituency on June 6, 2017,” Ansah said.

 

The high level forum that attracted major electoral stakeholders,including political parties, civil society organizations, government, and public institutions, also agreed that all electoral law reforms must be submitted to Parliament for endorsement 18 months before the 2019 tripartite elections.

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