The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has disclosed that it will hold the much awalted by-elections in Mchinji West and four other local government by-elections on November 1.

This has been disclosed in a press statement made available to FaceofMalawi signed by Chairperson of MEC Services Committee Mrs Jean Chifunilo.

According to Chifunilo, MEC will open centres for registration and voter verification from 12th to 16th October 2016.

“The Commission will register first-time voters only. These are those who have attained the age of 18 after May 20, 2016 or will turn 18 by November 1, 2016. The Commission will not register anyone who was eligible to register during the last registration exercise but failed to do so for whatever reason or reasons. The Commission will also not accept transfers.

“All registered voters for the May 20, 2016 elections, whether they voted or not, they have to verify their details in the voters’ roll at the centre they registered. If they transferred, they should verify at the centre they transferred to,” reads the statement in part.

She added: “Registered voters who lost their voter certificates should go to the centre where they registered to get a replacement certificate that will enable them to vote on November 1, 2016.”

The announcement of the by-elections comes barely a month after the death of MEC Chairperson Maxon Mbendera.

As this is not enough, the announcement comes at a time when MEC chief executive officer Willie Kalonga and six others are on suspension on issues bordering on abuse of MEC money and fraud.

Meanwhile it is not known as to when President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika will appoint Mbendera’s replacement.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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