MEC  commits strict  adherence to electoral laws  during Tuesday by-elections

By Elijah Phompho-MEC stringer

The Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC) has committed itself to 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 on flouting its own electoral statues.

MEC commissioner Steven Duwa disclosed the electoral body's commitment last Thursday in Chikwawa during a meeting with members of the District Election Support  Team (DEST) where he implored upon them to ensure that all necessary guidelines are ad heard 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.

Commissioner Duwa 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 comes Tuesday it’s 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.

During the meeting,  Commissioner Duwa also urged DEST members 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.

During the 2019 Tripartite elections among other things, the courts faulted MEC on 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 were 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.