MEC rejects Chakwera’s request to change ballot symbol

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has rejected Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s request to change ballot symbol for the 2020 presidential elections.

Chakwera whose runningmate is UTM leaders Saulos Chilima is recognized by MEC as MCP presidential candidate in the elections.

He, however, asked for the change in order to reflect his party’s alliance with the UTM.

But MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, in her response, noted that Chakwera’s candidature is being sponsored by a political party in the name of the Malawi Congress Party.

She said Chakwera’s nomination in terms of symbol is regulated by Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act of 2018.

She added that the MCP symbol Chakwera currently uses was approved by the Registrar of parties but the alliance symbol was not approved.

“Under the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, if a candidate is to stand for or to be sponsored by a political party, like in your case, that fact shall be specified together with the name of the political party, the name of the candidate, and the distinctive symbol and other particulars approved by the commission which the candidate wishes to appear on the ballot paper in conjunction with him,” said Ansah in a letter to Chakwera dated May 15.

She further said that the commission will use the party symbol which Chakwera already submitted with his nomination paper.

Chakwera and Chilima are campaigning under the Tonse Alliance which has its own symbol.