MEC set for contempt: Unable to organise elections within 150 days

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it cannot organise presidential elections within 150 days.

The commission, in its appeal for a stay of the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the 2019 presidential elections, attached a calendar which shows that the elections can be held  at the earliest on 28 October, 2020.

According to the commission, the electoral process could start on 10 February, 2020 with production of materials and end on 30 November, 2020 with the elections report writing.

In her sworn statement, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said challenges such as transport and inadequate funding which affected the May 21 elections could also haunt the fresh elections.

Ansah added that the fresh elections could require a budget of K48 billion.

Speaking to the local media, private practice lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa said the Constitutional Court considered the country’s laws before it ordered that the elections should be held within 150 days.

According to Mwakhwawa, the laws say MEC should hold elections within 150 days if a president dies in office.

“This means it wasn’t an arbitrary choice of the number of days,” he said.

On Monday, the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 presidential elections due to widespread, grave and systematic irregularities that compromised the results.

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