Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says ballot papers for the 30 March slated by-elections will arrive in the country on 21 March not 26 March as earlier announced.
According to MECs Director, Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa, the change has been necessitated by change of flights to carry the ballot papers from Dubai where the printing is taking place.
“We asked the printer to find some flight coming to Malawi that can bring the ballot papers on the 26th March as we had initially planned. When they contacted the airlines that come into Malawi, the only flight that has got space to carry ballot papers is the one that is coming on 21 March,” said Mwafulirwa.
Mwafulirwa said since the ballot papers will arrive earlier than planned day, he assured Malawians that there are already plans to make sure that once the papers arrive in the country they are kept at a secure place in Lilongwe before they are dispatched to respective places.
“Malawi Electoral Commission is putting in place safety measures. We are identifying a secure place within Lilongwe where will keep the ballot papers until the day when we will be distributing them to the councils,” said Mwafulirwa.
Mwafulirwa further said the Commission is currently engaging all political parties and candidates on the safety of the ballot papers when they arrive in the country.
MEC is expected to distribute the polling materials to councils on 26 March in readiness of the 30 March slated by-elections.
Following demise of some legislators and councilors, and nullification of 2019 Parliamentary Elections results in some areas, MEC will on 30 March hold by-elections in 7 constituencies and 2 wards.