MEC adopts 50+ 1 as electoral law

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioner Francis Kasaila  Friday disclosed that several changes have taken place in the electoral laws with one being the adoption of the 50+1.

Speaking during a meeting organized by MEC to reveal the amendments in the electoral laws, and confirm the list of polling and registration centers after the constituency demarcation process, he said no presidential candidate would be declared winner without surpassing 50 percent of the total votes.

Kasaila said that “50+1 was an interpretation by the courts, if you remember well after the referral case on the 2019 elections, the court ruled that majority in our constitution means absolute majority which is 50 percent plus 1.

“By the time, we were going for the re-run elections in 2020, amendments had not yet been done, but as of now, it has been effected and we now have a law that clearly stipulates that the presidential candidate will only be declared winner if he or she has managed to get over 50 percent of the total votes.”

He added: “Where no candidate did not satisfy this law, the commission shall conduct a re-run in 60 days where only number one and two shall contest, no alliances will be allowed, but it will be at the discretion of the contestants to woe support from other parties who will not be contesting.”

Kasaila: No one without a National ID will be allowed to register as a voter. Pic by Mary Makhiringa (MANA)

Apart from the 50+1 law, MEC has changed the voting month, from May to September, and the voting day will be a holiday and voting time will be from 6 am to 4 pm.

“Come 2025, no one without the National Identity Card will be allowed to register as a voter or even with just the receipt from the National Registration Bureau (NRB) you will not be allowed to register as a voter, we want only those with real cards” he said.

 Member of Parliament for Balaka South Constituency Bertha Ndebere expressed worry in the process in which the National IDs are being issued when one applies for a renewal.

“The process is so slow, it takes one whole year some even take two years for one to receive his or her renewed Identity card, this is worrisome as many voters will be left out,” she said.

Ndabere called for a concerted effort from both the Electoral Commission as well as NRB to rectify the problem so that any deserving person should have the National Identity card so that he or she expresses him or herself during the 2025 elections.

Statistics indicate that if no renewals are made, there shall be 6 million expired National Identity cards come 2025.

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