The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said it will ensure that Tuesday’s by elections meet all the required legal standards to avoid a repeat of the 2019 Tripartite elections scenario whereby the courts faulted MEC for flouting electoral statutes.
MEC commissioner Steven Duwa disclosed the electoral body’s commitment last Thursday in Chikwawa during a meeting with members of District Election Support Team (DEST) where he implored upon them to ensure that all necessary guidelines are adhered to during the by-elections.
Commissioner Duwa further disclosed that all commissioners for the Electoral body shall be on the ground on Tuesday monitoring the situation by themselves to ensure strict observance of all the electoral laws.
He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, so far we have not encountered any serious challenges during the voter registration, verification and nomination of candidates for Tuesday’s elections.
“However, note that come Tuesday its when we shall be conducting the actual poling. Poling is the most important of all the exercises we have done so far. If we miss it on poling, we have missed it forever, no room for correction.
“I therefore urge you to be our eyes and ears on the ground to ensure strict adherence of all the stipulated laws during the Tuesday by elections”.
During the meeting, Commissioner Duwa also urged DEST members which is composed of heads of government departments at the district level such as the District Commissioner (DC) and the Officer in charge of police (O.C) among others, not to be influenced by their political affiliations in carrying out their duties during the day.
On his part, District Commissioner for Chikwawa Ali Phiri said he shall ensure that all the stipulated guidelines are observed during the by elections.
Following the 2019 Tripartite elections, the courts faulted MEC over the use of a correction fluid called tippex on the results sheets.
The courts also ruled that the use of duplicates forms and that failure for presiding officers to sign against the results sheets was not in conformity with the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA) of 1993.
The development consequently led to the nullification of the 2019 presidential results and the fresh presidential polls were held on 23rd June as per the court’s directive.