We may not have fresh elections in July – Analyst


A political analyst says the country might not hold fresh presidential election in July as ordered by the Constitutional Court and has blamed authorities for not showing willingness to ensure the elections are held within 150 days.

On 3rd February this year, the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe ordered for a fresh presidential election within 150 days nullifying last year’s polls which saw President Peter Mutharika emerging winner.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Lilongwe rejected Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) request to extend the period for holding the fresh presidential elections due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Mkhutche has predicted that despite the order, there shall be no election within the prescribed period as government is pushing for a 21-day lockdown which is aimed at containing the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We may not hold the election in the prescribed time. If we do, then we must expect a chaotic election. It was possible to balance the need for the election and dealing with COVID-19 at the same time. But this depended on political willingness and attitude of powers that be. Unfortunately, it is not like that,” said Mkhutche.

He went on to fault the electoral commission for suspending electoral activities saying it is easy to control the spread of disease during voter registration.

“Just as some essential services will still be happening with specified guidelines, registration for the election should have continued. At those centers, we needed to observe all the preventive measures.

“So this could have continued to make sure that when the pandemic is over, were done with one major step towards the vote,” said Mkhutche.

He further said that it was possible to hold the election within the prescribed time and at the same time deal with COVID-19 had it been that authorities were willing to do so but to no avail.