Malawi: Political Parties Registrar Extends Time Limit for Handouts Act Implementation

1 December 2019

Registrar of Political Parties have extended time limit for political parties to adhere to the political parties Act which bars handouts as way of luring voters during elections.

The registrar has extended the time limit to March 2020 from December 2018 when the Act came into force.

Kizito Tenthani of Centre for Multiparty Democracy has welcomed the move, saying this will give ample time for political parties and politicians to prepare for the new law.

This comes at a time when a survey has revealed that it is expensive to do politics in Malawi because of the culture of handouts.

A report which shows that average parliamentary candidate in the 2019 election spent a total of K14.8 million seeking election in both primaries and general elections.

The report, entitled 'the cost of politics in Malawi by Dr. Michael Wahman of Michigan University says this number include all candidates, even those with little or no chance of being elected.

The report says looking only at candidates that won more than 20 per cent of the vote, the average is K27 million which is 140 per cent of legislators' annual salary.

It says male candidates spent 14 per cent than female candidates.

Candidates running for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spent 48 per cent more than candidates running for UTM and 61 per cent more than candidates running for MCP.

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