The newly appointed Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson and commissioners will be sworn in today in Blantyre at High Court, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, the commission’s publicist confirmed.

The Commission now comprises chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale and Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje who have been retained at Democratic Progressive Party representatives, Steve Duwa an electoral rights activist, Arthur Nanthuru, MCP has Olivia Liwewe and Anthony Mukumbwa.

While the choice of Justice Kachale has attracted praise, the inclusion on Mathanga and Kunje who were part of a Commission which was declared incompetent by the courts has raised eyebrows.

A social commentator Humphreys Mvula faulted Mathanga and Kunje’s inclusion in the new Commission saying the development raises suspicions as the Constitutional and Supreme Courts found the electoral body compromised in the way it handled the polls marred by irregularities.

Kunje did argue though before a Parliamentary Committee that calling the Commission incompetent means even the MPs are incompetent as they were declared winners by the same Commission.

Some have also questioned how Mutharika ended up assigning the Malawi Congress Party two Commissioner and the DPP four when the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections act categorically says political parties can only submit up three nominees for the position of Commissioners.

Arguments that one of the four may be a UDF representative do not also seem to hold as only the MCP and DPP qualified to submit nominees have secured one tenth of the Parliamentary seats.

Once sworn-in, the Commissioners will have to hit the ground running and hold an election in less than 30 days in order to comply with the February 3rd ruling of the courts.

Source: Kulinji.com

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