Ansah said this on Wednesday in Blantyre during the official announcement of results of by-elections for Matenje Ward in Kasungu. She note that out of over 50 registered political parties in Malawi, only Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) participated.
Ansah said it was MEC’s hope that the Political Party’s Act would be in full force and regulate idle parties. She said under Section 16 (1)(e) of the Act, the political party registrars have power to deregister parties on their own motion if they were satisfied that the party has ceased to exist.
“Political parties exist to contest in elections, get into positions and influence policies. If political parties are not contesting even in by-elections which elections are they going to contest? We echo the calls for full enforcement of the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Bill to address issues like this one,” said Ansah.
Earlier this year, Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) also warned that political parties which fails to participate in elections risks deregistration.
Political commentator Rafiq Hajat also backed CDM saying the move was in a right direction as some individuals create political parties for personal gains.
Commenting on the matter, Peoples Party (PP) Spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda, agreed with the calls to invoke the act against idle political parties, saying it was a matter of following the law. Ironically, PP did not participate in Tuesday’s by-election.
“It is the law that was dully passed in parliament and must be adhered to no matter the circumstances. Idle parties must indeed be deregistered,” said Kalaile Banda.
On why his party did not participate, Kalaile Banda claimed that PP was still in electoral alliance with MCP “and Kasungu being the stronghold of our partners, we felt we should just support their candidate.”