..Law expert faults MEC by-election decision
Despite a court ruling that there should be a re-run in Lilongwe City South East, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has disclosed that they are to hold a by-election arguing the country’s constitution does not give such provisions.
MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah backed the decision saying Malawi laws do not support implementation of a re-run.
Ansah added that the electoral body has since set June 6 for Lilongwe South East by-elections.
Commenting on the development, law expert Edge Kanyongolo has faulted the decision arguing a re-run is different from by-elections.
“Re-run and by-elections are fundamentally different, but if it is legally impossible to hold a re-run and the electoral commission is in a dilemma because there is no such provision then they are doing something different,” said Kanyongolo.
National Elections Systems Trust (NEST) Executive Director Unandi Banda has since backed MEC’s decision arguing it is “very in order” to have a by-election instead of a re-run if Malawi laws have no such provision.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ordered a re-run of elections in Lilongwe City South East constituency after Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Ulemu Msungama challenged the results which declared Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Bentley Namasasu winner.
Msungama challenged the results of the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections parliamentary race in the constituency on the basis that his votes were counted as Namasasu’s.
The MCP candidate then met a challenge of backing his claim as fire gutted the MEC warehouse making it impossible to recount votes.