Wednesday, August 14, 2013
MALAWI PALIAMENT TRACKS PROGRESS ON ELECTORAL PROCESS
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), a body mandated to manage elections in Malawi, has distanced itself from the conduct of some registration staff that is turning back people before the official closing time, and has since issued a warning on the same. “The Malawi Electoral Commission has received reports that some registration staffs are closing registration centers and turning back people before the official closing time of 4 pm. “The Commission wishes to express disapproval of this irregularity, and stresses that closing time for registration centres to the public is 4 pm on all days the centres are open,” Willie Kalonga, Chief Elections Officer for the electoral body has indicated. The Legal Affairs of the Malawi Parliament engaged the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on the progress of the registration exercise that the Malawi electoral body is conducting. This comes few days before the second phase of registration for the forthcoming elections in Malawi rolls out on August 8, with MEC declaring that the first phase had minute challenges which will also act as stepping stones in the second and subsequent phases. “ So far registration has run smoothly and turn out for registration has been impressive and satisfactory. There were no major challenges hampering registration. Registration for the 2014 Tripartite Elections will be conducted in ten phases each spanning fourteen days including weekends and public holidays. The second phase started on August 8, 2013 and ends on August 21, Tembo Tight-Lipped On Final List of Contestants At MCP Convention Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, John Tembo, on Friday said the final list of candidates to compete for the party's presidential position would be known right at the convention on Saturday. Speaking to journalists, Tembo said the total number of contestants was 12, but he said delegates would decide on the final list of contestants. He also said the question of who is contesting will be known at the convention and it will not be decided by the delegates alone, even some of the contestants themselves may decide to pull out from contesting."The MCP leader said at one point he had offered not to contest but, he said, the parties National Executive Committee (NEC) had persuaded him to contest and ensure that the convention was successful. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) delegates held the party's convention at the Natural Resources College (NRC) in Lilongwe on Saturday and commonly rejected the presidential candidature of John Tembo. Earlier in his opening address, Tembo had hinted that he was retiring from his role as president of the party, but he kept expressing interest in contesting saying it was up to the delegates to decide whether he should contest or not. But before voting commenced, chairperson for the MCP convention, MacDonald Lombola, explained to the delegates that since the party's constitution bars Tembo from a third term run owing to the fact that he had lost twice on presidential elections before, they should first carry out polls to decide whether he should contest or not. Lombola said the process of conducting the deciding vote would be carried out by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) which was managing the voting process of the convention but the delegates unanimously shouted against Tembo's re-run.