A political scientist in the country says Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) reason for failure to conduct by-elections in some parts of the country is a clever excuse.
MEC was scheduled to conduct by-elections in Lilongwe City South East and other parts of the country but the commission postponed the elections citing to lack of funds.
Speaking to Malawi24, one of the political scientists in the country Wonderful Mkhutche questioned the authenticity of MEC’s reason for postponing the elections.
“The official explanation from MEC is that they have no funds for the by-elections or the re-run. It is a clever excuse,” said Mkhutche.
He also called for reforms to make sure that the commission is not impeded by lack of funding when it wants to conduct by-elections.
“MEC cannot be independent in terms of funds. It will always look to the government for funds. What we need to do to avoid the situation is strengthening our electoral laws by letting them be clear on funds for by-elections or re-run,” he said.
He added that laws should ensure MEC has funds even between elections and not just close to elections.
The by-elections in Lilongwe City South East were expected to take place after a court ruled that the 2014 Parliamentary polls for the constituency were marred by irregularities.
Mkhutche said the challenge is that the Supreme Court did not give direction as to when the re-run should take place.
He further said that if it did, it could have helped in forcing government to make funds available.
According to Mkhutche, as it is now, the ruling left government and MEC to decide on the time hence compromising the situation.