Malawi's electoral commission says presidential
elections will not be held on 2 July, as
On 3 February, the country's Constitutional Court ordered a
fresh vote be held after annulling last year’s re-election of
President Peter Mutharika.
The court said the new elections should be held within 150
days of the date of its ruling and that period elapses on 2 July - the date the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) set
as election day.
But MEC Chair Jane Ansah has said that last Friday’s Supreme
Court judgement, which upheld the Constitutional Court's ruling, clarified that
the date for holding fresh elections should be decided by MPs - and that the 150-day
period should include the day elections results are announced.
According to electoral laws, the MEC has up to eight days to announce the results, meaning if elections
were held on 2 July, the election results would come after 150 days set by the court.
It is not yet clear when parliament will sit to decide on a new election date.
South Africa's government is
facing a backlash over new lockdown regulations detailing what clothes can and
cannot be sold in shops.
The opposition has compared the
rules to Soviet-style bureaucracy.
The governing African National
Congress (ANC) party is under mounting public pressure to ease lockdown rules
despite warnings that infections will only peak in two or three months.
The new regulations are
Shoes may now be sold - but not if they’re opened-toed
T-shirts are OK - but only
if advertised and sold as undergarments
The same goes for
sleeveless knitted tops...
There is a logic to all this.
Winter is coming - and the
government is trying to ease some of the tightest lockdown restrictions in the
world. Hence the green light for the sale of winter clothes.
But Dean MacPherson, from the
opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), is unimpressed:
Quite frankly ridiculous and mad. More likely these sorts of rules found in the Soviet Union and East Germany."
Like many countries, South Africa is now trying to rescue a collapsing economy, while avoiding a new surge of infections.
The fear is that it may fail on both counts.
The crisis has exposed deep rifts in government between ministers more inclined to authoritarian solutions, including an ongoing ban on all alcohol and cigarette sales, and those who now believe South Africans should be trusted with more individual freedoms - including the right to buy sandals and exposed knitwear.