Parliament has passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections amendment bill which sets 19 May as the date for the 2020 fresh presidential elections and provides for the holding of a run-off election 30 days later if no candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote of the votes cast.
On Monday, Parliament passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (amendment) Act which sets Tuesday, in the third week of May, 2020 (that is on 19th May this year) as the date of the elections.
The amendment also includes provision for holding of run-off presidential election if no candidate in presidential elections gets half or more of the valid votes.
Following the amendment, the next general elections will be held on Tuesday, in the third week of May, 2025 while the National Assembly and local government authorities elected on 21st May, 2019 shall stand dissolved on 20th March, 2025.
The provisions were also in the Constitutional Amendment Bills which was shot down last week as it required two thirds majority to pass.
The National Assembly has also passed the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill which states that the Chairperson of the Commission should be nominated by the Judicial Service Commission and be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Public Appointments Committee.
It further states that the appointment of other members of the Commission shall be on recommendation of the Public Appointments Committee following nominations from political parties represented in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa has accused opposition Members of Parliament of rushing to amend the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act without giving the House time to debate the bills.
The amendments follow an order by the Constitutional Court which nullified the 21 May presidential elections and told Malawi Electoral Commission to hold fresh elections.
The court ordered Parliament to make appropriate provisions for the holding of run-off elections in case no single candidate gets majority of votes.