The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has heeded to calls by youth activists to consider reducing the nomination fees to enable more youth and other special groups to participate in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
According to a general notice signed by MEC’s Chief Elections Officer Sammy Alfandika dated 23rd July 2018, youth parliamentary aspirants will now be required to pay MK375, 000 from a general MK500, 000 while female candidates and people with disabilities will now pay MK250, 000.
The Notice explains that adjustments in the nomination fees are according to changes in the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act , section 45 (3 ) A. and B and Section 50 (1) and Section 37 of the Local Government Act.
“I hereby give notice that the Electoral Commission has made a determination that in respect to the 2019 Tripartite Elections, the nomination fees to be deposited by or on behalf of the person being nominated shall be as follows: Parliamentary Elections; male candidates K500, 000; Female candidates; The Youth K375, 000; People with disabilities K250, 000,” reads the notice.
According to the notice, nomination fees for youth competing in Local Government Polls have been set at K30, 000 from a general K40, 000 which was previously required from all aspiring male councillors and MK20, 000 for female aspirants. People with disabilities are also benefiting from the adjustments with a special nomination fee framework of K 20, 000.
Reacting to the announcement, Team Leader for Youth-Decide-2019 Campaign (YD-2019) Charles Kajoloweka described the development as good adding that his network would continue to engage MEC to further reduce the fees for youths.
“It is a good development, a good start. But we will further engage MEC. Our proposal has been that the rate should be reduced to 50% due to the fact that the economic marginalization of youth and people with disabilities is not different from that of women,” said Kajoloweka.
The newly introduced youth nomination fees come at a time when a consortium of three NGOs; Youth and Society (YAS), Network for Youth Development (NfYD), and Youth Politicians Union engaged MEC to reduce the nomination fees to enable more youth to run in the 2019 Tripartite Elections through the YD-2019 Campaign. The YD-2019 is a nationwide Campaign aimed at mobilizing and empowering Malawian youth to actively participate in the 2019 Tripartite Elections and to promote good governance by youth leaders after 2019.