Coronavirus: Registration for 2020 elections suspended

The Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus says registration for the 2020 presidential elections has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) started phase one of the registration exercise on Saturday in in Karonga, Salima, Dedza, Ntcheu, Blantyre district, Blantyre city, Chikwawa and Nsanje.

The commission said it had taken precautionary measures to make sure that people are protected from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, since Saturday Malawi has recorded five cases of the coronavirus and one of the patients died this morning. The first three cases of the pandemic were confirmed on Thursday.

The rise in cases has forced the coronavirus committee to suspend the registration exercise.

Chairperson for the Special Cabinet Committee on Covid19 Jappie Mhango on Tuesday announced the suspension of the registration exercise as well as bans on announced church gatherings and mobile markets.

He said the restrictions have been put in place to prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are at a point where as a people we have to pull in one direction in the fight against CoronaVirus . This is war and it has to be treated as such,” he said.

MEC started registration exercise months after the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 Elections and ordered the commission to connect fresh polls.

Meanwhile, law expert Garton Kamchedzera, in an interview with the local media, has said the ministers cannot suspend the electoral process.

According to Kamchedzera, on the MEC has the authority to suspend the registration process.

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