CHAPTER 2:03

ELECTORAL COMMISSION

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

Part i

Preliminary

1. Short title

2. Interpretation

Part ii

Status and Membership of the Commission

3. Legal personality and capacity of the Commission

4. Appointment of members of the Commission

5. Eligibility for appointment to the Commission

6. Independence of the Commission

7. Committees of the Commission

Part iii

Functions and Powers of the Commission

8. Functions and powers of the Commission

9. Delegation of powers and functions

10. Vacancy in the membership of the Commission

 

Part iv

Meetings of the Commission

11. Meetings of the Commission

Part v

Management

12. Appointment of Chief Elections Officer

13. Appointment of staff of the Commission

14. Vacancy where employee becomes candidate in the elections

Part vi

Financial Provisions

15. Funds of the Commission

16. Books and other records of accounts, audit and reports of the Commission

17. Holdings of funds of the Commission

18. Financial year

SECTION

Part vii

Miscellaneous

19. Duty to co-operate

20. Legal representation

21. Publicity

22. Regulations

Part viii

Transitional Provisions

23. Savings

24. Transfer of assets, etc.

 

 

 

11 of 1998

16 of 2010

11 of 2013

An Act to make provision for the appointment of members of the Electoral Commission; for the establishment of a Secretariat for the Electoral Commission; and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith

[3rd July, 1998]

PART I

Preliminary

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Electoral Commission Act.

Interpretation

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the several words and expressions used in this Act shall have the same meanings
as

Cap. 2:01

signed to them in the Constitution and the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act and the following additional words shall have the following meaning—

“Chief Elections Officer” means the Chief Elections Officer appointed under section 12.

PART II

Status and Membership of the Commission

Legal personality and capacity of the Commission

3. The Commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and be capable of—

(a) acquiring, holding and disposing of real and personal property;

(b) suing and being sued in its own name; and

(c) doing or performing all such acts and things as bodies corporate may by law do or perform.

Appointment of members of the Commission

4.—(1) The President shall, subject to the Constitution and in consultation with the leaders of the political parties represented in the National Assembly, appoint suitably qualified persons to be members of the Commission on such terms and conditions as the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament shall determine.

(2) The remuneration and any allowance of a member of the Commission may not be reduced during his period of office without his consent, and may be increased at such intervals as the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament may determine.

(3) A member of the Commission may resign from his office at any time by notice in writing to the President.

Eligibility for appointment to the Commission

5. No person who is a candidate in any election or is a serving employee of the Commission shall be eligible to be appointed a member of the Commission or any of its committees.

Independence of the Commission

6.—(1) Every individual member and employee of the Commission shall perform the functions and exercise the powers provided for in this Act independently of the direction or interference of—

(a) any public office;

(b) any organ of the Government;

(c) any political party;

(d) any candidate; or

(e) any person whosoever or organization whatsoever:

Provided that for the purpose only of accountability the Commission shall be answerable, and report directly, to the President on the overall fulfilment of the functions and powers of the Commission.

(2) Upon assuming his office or immediately thereafter, every member of the Commission shall take an oath of office before the Chief Justice in the prescribed form.

Committees of the Commission

7. —(1) For the better carrying into effect of its functions, the Commission may establish such number of committees as it shall deem appropriate, to perform, subject to section 9, any of its functions and carry out such other responsibilities as the Commission may direct.

(2) A committee of the Commission may consist of either
members of the Commission only or members of the Commission and such other suitably qualified persons as the Commission may deem fit.

(3) The Commission shall appoint the chairman of each committee from only amongst the members of the Commission.

(4) The provisions of this Act relating to meetings of the
Commission shall apply
mutatis mutandis to the meetings of its committees.

(5) Every committee of the Commission shall act in accordance with any directions given to it in writing by the Commission.

PART III

Functions and Powers of the Commission

Functions and powers of the Commission

16 of 2010

11 of 2013

8.—(1) In addition to the broad functions and powers conferred on the Commission by the Constitution and, subject to the Constitution, the Commission shall exercise general direction and supervision over the conduct of every election and, without prejudice to the generality of such functions and powers, it shall have the following further functions—

(a) to determine the number of constituencies for the purposes of elections;

(b) to undertake or supervise the demarcation of boundaries of constituencies;

Cap. 22:02

16 of 2010

(c) subject to the Local Government Elections Act and any other written law relating to local government elections, to undertake or supervise the demarcation of wards for purposes of local government elections and to determine the number of such wards:

Provided that—

(i) in the case of the City of Blantyre, the total number of wards shall not exceed thirty;

(ii) in the case of the City of Lilongwe, the total number of wards shall not exceed thirty;

(iii) in the case of the City of Mzuzu, the total number of wards shall not exceed fifteen;

11 of 2013

(iv) in the case of the City of Zomba, the total number of wards shall not exceed ten;

11 of 2013

(v) in the case of Kasungu Municipal Council, the total number of wards shall not exceed ten;

11 of 2013

(vi) in the case of Luchenza Municipal Council, the total number of wards shall not exceed eight;

11 of 2013

(vii) in the case of Mangochi Town Council, the total number of wards shall not exceed ten; and

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(viii) in all other cases, the number of wards shall not exceed two for each parliamentary constituency, and the Commission shall ensure that ward boundaries do not cross local authority boundaries;

(d) to organize and direct the registration of voters;

(e) to devise and establish voters registers and ballot papers;

(f) to print, distribute and take charge of ballot papers and voters registers;

(g) to approve and procure ballot boxes;

(h) to establish and operate polling stations;

(i) to establish security conditions necessary for the conduct of every election in accordance with any written law governing elections;

(j) to promote public awareness of electoral matters through the media and other appropriate and effective means and to conduct civic and voter education on such matters;

(k) to promote and conduct research into electoral matters and into any matter pertaining to its functions and to publish the results of such research;

(l) to perform the functions conferred upon it by or under any written law; and

(m) to take measures and to do such other things as are necessary for conducting free and fair elections.

(2) For purposes of discharging the functions and exercising the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, this Act or any other written law relating to elections, the Commission shall freely communicate with the Government and any political party or any candidate, person or organization.

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