Parliament has passed presidential, parliamentary and local government elections bill which seeks to harmonize and consolidate the presidential and parliamentary elections act and the local government act into one section.

The bill provides clarity on how to hold second presidential polls if no candidate amass a majority of 50+1 votes and a re-run to be conducted within 60 days.

The electoral reforms bill has further enhanced penalty for electoral offenses to a maximum of K10m and also a five-year imprisonment.

It also seeks to make voting day a public holiday to give people enough time to cast their ballots.

Meanwhile, Electoral stakeholders have commended Members of Parliament for amending the constitution and electoral related laws.

Speaking to radio Islam,  after parliament approved the  bill s, Vice board chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Support Network MESN Boniface Chibwana said the amendments were long awaited and will help in improving credibility of the country’s elections.

Chibwana has therefore urged duty bearers to properly plan for a re- run adding the issue of credibility of a leader is of paramount importance in a democratic society.

“in terms of planning we need a lot of resources and in this case it means that when budgeting for an upcoming election we have to budget for a re-run so that we are not caught an aware.

Democracy is not cheap and if you have these progressive laws we have to plan as such,” he said