Parliamentary committee adopts 23 June election date

The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament has agreed with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) that the Fresh Presidential Election (FPE) should be held on June 23.

MEC initially set 2 July as the date of the elections but recently proposed that the polls be shifted to 23rd June, 2020.

Today, the Committee met MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah SC and the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale SC where the proposed date was adopted.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Kezzie Msukwa, MP, said Parliament would enact a law setting 23rd June as the date of the fresh presidential election.

According to Msukwa, Parliament will only enact bills on the date of the fresh presidential election, period for conducting a run off and date of the next general election.

The committee then asked the commission to continue preparations for the election but with 23rd June, 2020 as polling day.

During the meeting, Ansah informed the committee of the challenges the commission is facing to procure all necessary materials, in particular ballot papers, in the wake of Covid-19 and that there is a budget deficit of K8 billion.

The MEC Chairperson said there is no local security printer in Malawi and securing ballot papers might disrupt the calendar.

On his part, the Attorney General informed the Committee that the contracts of the Commissioners would be ending on 5th June, 2020 which, he observed, would pose a challenge in the running of the FPE.

Responding to the Attorney General, Msukwa expressed hope that President Peter Mutharika is aware of the need to start consultations to come up with new Commissioners of MEC.

The commission will hold the fresh elections following the nullification of the 2019 presidential elections by the Supreme Court.

The court ordered that a new president should be sworn in within 150 days from the date of Constitutional Court ruling.