The Malawi Electoral Commission has filed an application to the Constitutional Court asking for suspension of fresh presidential election processes in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court Registrar Agness Patemba confirmed the development, saying judges will scrutinize the application and thereafter make the decision on whether the application can be adhered to.
“Yes indeed I can confirm receipt of the petition from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). At this stage, we will depend on the availability of judges to make the verdict on the application,” said Patemba.
MEC has filed the application barely a week after the Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus announced the intention to ban of the same electoral process as an aim to combat further spread of the disease which has caused a single death in the country.
Committee’s Chairperson Jappie Mhango imposed the ban cited that continuing with the process of voter registration is posing threat to the public as social distance is not being observed during the process.
“The right to life is Supreme. We can’t have an election if it threatens to disrupt our public health system,” said Mhango on Tuesday.
Through random checks in some parts of the country where the voter registration process is being conducted have shown that MEC is still presiding over the activity.
Also commenting on the matter during a press briefing on Wednesday, Vice President Saulos Chilima said the committee is not obliged and has no mandate to stop any electoral process.
Malawi is expecting to hold the fresh presidential polls on 2nd July following constitutional court order which nullified 21st May presidential election citing irregularities.