MEC in K8 billion deficit

By Glory Msowoya, MANA

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Dr Jane Ansah has disclosed that it still faces K8 billion funding gap in its budget to be used ahead of the fresh presidential election.

Ansah said this during a press briefing on Thursday at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre on the sidelines of the presentation of nomination papers by presidential candidates.

MEC Commissioners

She said donors like United Nations Development Program indicated that they will not help with the needed money.

“This is because the donor community questioned the legal framework that would guide the elections and cited economic challenges arising from COVID-19,” she said.

Ansah added that MEC is, however, proceeding with preparations for the elections as a fulfillment of the court order.

Coronavirus alert

“Currently, the commission is doing everything it can just to obey the order by the court, because if we fail, it will be in contempt of court.

“As of now, we are doing so many things at once, for example, we are in the process of voter registration and on the other hand, we are doing presentation of presidential nomination papers just to make sure that elections should be held in a space of 150 days which the court gave us for the fresh election.

“The Commission continues to face the threat of COVID-19, but it still has to print ballot papers outside the country which will be a problem,” she added.

Coronavirus alert

However, the MEC chairperson was non committal on whether the election will take place in a given period of time.

MEC set July 2 to conduct fresh presidential elections after the Constitutional Court nullified the May 21, 2019 presidential results.