By: Happy Arnold Soko
Lack of funds at the disposal of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) may delay Legislative Assembly elections scheduled for 10th May 2016.
MEC is uncertain if the by-elections will be conducted on the set date’s duo to the financial crisis.
According to MEC Director, Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa, there will be delays in conducting by-elections for Mchinji West Constituency.
In as statement that was made available to The Malawi Star, the election body has hinted that it is engaging relevant authorities for funding of the by-elections.
“Further to media interviews granted by the chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera SC regarding the vacancy of Mchinji West Constituency, be informed that the MEC is engaging relevant authorities for funding of the by-elections.
If the funding is secured on time, MEC will conduct the by-elections in tandem with the draft calendar. The dates in the electoral calendar are provisional and may be revised depending on the timing of funding access,” reads part of the statement.
The source within the pollster confided with The Malawi Star that it has always been the commitment of the Commission to conduct by-elections as soon as possible so that citizens in areas where a vacancy has arisen should have representation either in Parliament or the Local Council.
But inadequate funding and political interference are among the factors hampering the credibility.
“How can we ensure adequate election arrangements in the absence of funds?” the source was quoted as saying.
He added that the election commission’s financial woes are due to bureaucratic tendencies influenced by the ruling politicians.
The by-elections follow the death of Mchinji west Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member of parliament Billy Kanjira Banda who died on March14th 2016 after collapsing at St Francis Catholic Church in Lilongwe area 25.