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Malawi: presidential re-run rescheduled to June 23

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Citizens of Malawi will go to the polls on June 23, a week earlier than originally ordered by the courts, which cancelled President Peter Mutharika’s victory last year due to abnormalities.

The Constitutional Court announced on Feb. 3 that a new presidential election be held within 150 days’ period after mentioning “widespread, systematic and grave” anomalies.

The early date was July 2.

Nevertheless, opposition members of Parliament on Tuesday issued a resolution setting the June 23 date, to the astonishment of the government side which had hoped for a vote via Constitutional amendments. That vote would have delayed the new date.

“Government side wanted to use the Constitution amendment route and get their MP’s vote against it. The solution was to decide by resolution to avoid another wait for a presidential assent,” said Garton Kamchedzera, a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Malawi.

Mutharika has been required to appoint a new chairman of the Malawi Electoral Commission Justice Chifundo Kachale, a High Court judge after his forerunner Jane Ansah, a Supreme Court of Appeals judge was declared incompetent by both the Constitutional and Appeals Courts.

The new chairman of the electoral body has been sworn in to start work in Blantyre on Tuesday.

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