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Eligibility to contest in Malawi 2019 elections

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Jane Ansah: MEC Chairperson
Voter registration came to an end on November 9, 2018. The preparations for 2019 Tripartite Elections continue. The Commission is now planning for voter verification and nomination of candidates.

Because of the increasing number of enquiries from aspirants, this week we look again at the eligibility criteria to contest for the Presidential, Parliamentary or Local Government Elections on May 21, 2019.
Nomination papers will be available for collection from Constituency Returning Officers, Council offices and from MEC from January 4 to February 8, 2019. All candidates standing on party ticket will get their nomination papers from their respective secretaries general. All those contesting for presidency will collect nomination papers from the MEC head office.
 
The presentation of nomination papers is scheduled to take place from 4 to 8 February 2019. Candidates and political parties wishing to contest in the 2014 Tripartite Elections should ensure that they check if they or their candidates are eligible to contest. This will help save time and resources on their part. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
1.    Office of the President: No person shall qualify for nomination unless he or she:
·       is a citizen of Malawi by birth or descent;
·       has attained the age of 35 years and or above
·       is able to speak and to read the English language well enough to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament;
·       is a registered voter
 
2.    office of Member of Parliament: No person shall qualify for nomination unless he or she:
·       is a citizen of the Republic who at the time of nomination has attained the age of 21 years and or above
·       is able to speak and to read the English language well enough to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament;
·       Is a registered voter
 
3.    office of Ward Councillor: No person shall qualify for nomination unless he or she:
·       has attained the age of 21years and or more on the day of nomination
·       is able to speak and to read English language well enough to take an active part in the proceedings of the council
·       is a registered voter
 
The eligibility age should be attained on the day of submitting nomination papers to the returning officer.
Notwithstanding the above conditions, no one shall qualify for nomination to contest in the election of President, Member of Parliament and Ward councillor, if the person:
 
1.       owes allegiance to a foreign country;
2.       is, under any law in force in the Republic, adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind
3.       has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude;
4.       is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in the Republic;
5.       holds, or acts, in any public office or appointment
6.       belongs to, and is serving in the Malawi Defence Forces, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Prison Service; and
7.       has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of any violation of any law relating to elections.
 
Electoral stakeholders should note that academic or educational qualifications like holding a Malawi School Certificate (MSCE) or a first degree are not part of the eligibility criteria for any of the three positions.

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