Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah says she is confident that Parliament will soon set a date for the 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections.
Ansah made the remarks today in Mangochi during a NECOF meeting ahead of the fresh presidential elections which will be conducted following the nullification of the 2019 elections.
After nullifying the 2019 polls, the Constitutional Court ordered MEC to conduct fresh elections within 150 days from February 3, 2020. MEC later set July 2 as polling day.
On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision and Ansah now argues that Parliament is the one that is supposed to set a date for the 2020 elections.
“The judgement of the Supreme Court has to be complied with. It is the responsibility of Parliament to decide on the date of holding the polls. The Commission is confident that Parliament will do the needful very soon,” said Ansah in her speech.
After the Constitutional Court ruling, Parliament passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections amendment bill (no.2) which set 19 May as date for 2020 fresh elections and provided for a run-off election.
However, Mutharika refused to assent to the bill saying Parliament should amend the Constitution and not an Act of Parliament if it wants a new date for elections.
Meanwhile Dean of Law at the University of Malawi, Sunduzwayo Madise, says the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA) allows MEC to fix a date if a poll becomes necessary.
“[Section 48(1)(b)] is clear that the EC must fix a day or days on which a poll shall be taken, as long as it is after twenty-one days after the nominations. That is the law,” wrote Madise on
“It is therefore baffling that the EC is saying it has no [legal] mandate to fix or designate the day when polling (voting) shall be done,” wrote Madise on Facebook.