Ras Chikomeni, Smart Swira to try their luck again

Chikomeni

Controversial presidential hopeful Ras Chikomeni Chirwa will contest in the presidential election re-run after collecting nomination papers from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). 

Chikomeni, who is running as an independent candidate collected his papers along with two other contenders on Tuesday after the electoral body launched the election calendar on Monday. 

During the previous election Chikomeni was the star for being a Rasta, presenting his unorthodox viewpoints like growing of Marijuana and disqualification for failing to have K2million. He also did not meet the requirement to have signatures from registered voters in each of the districts. 

He called his disqualification a sign the elections are meant for rich people and not those who truly represent the ordinary Malawian.

Later he was affiliated with and endorsed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Peter Mutharika.

New Republican Party and Smart Chirwa who is also an independent are two of those who have followed suit however the formidable contenders; the alliance of UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Democratic Progressive Party and United Democratic Front are yet to collect their papers.

UTMCP is also yet to announce its presidential -running mate candidate as they have kept the nation in the dark since signing their coalition agreement. 

Chikomeni
Chikomeni (Centre) standing with his mother (L) and MEC's Chairperson Jane Ansah, SC at the presentation of nomination papers in Blantyre in 2019

MEC plans to hold on July 2 despite Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee saying they do not recognise the date.

Speaker of Parliament has also written the Constitutional court for direction over President Peter Mutharika’s decision not to assent to the Electoral Commission and Parliamentary and Presidential election amendment bills per its February 3rd ruling.

The amendments would have sent MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah, SC and her Commissioners packing leading to a new team to run the election as they were faulted on how they handled the previous election and would have enacted the 50 plus 1 majority interpretation.

Information Kulinji.com has indicates no form was collected on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

MEC’s calendar indicates presentation of nomination will take place over a twos from 23-24th April, 2020.

Sangwani Mwafulirwa Media and Public Relations officer for MEC said candidates are expected to collect 10 signatures of registered voters in each of the 28 districts before presentation of the papers to MEC.

Mwafulirwa has appealed to all political parties and individuals interested to contest to collect nomination papers on time. 

He said this will allow them (political parties and individual) to have ample time to collect the signatures and raise the k2m nomination fees before the nomination day.