Malawi: Major parties set for by-elections battle

All the major political parties in the country have expressed interest in by-elections slated for October 26 this year.

Some of the political parties that have expressed interest in the by-elections are political bed-fellows since they are in working alliances.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) will hold elections following the death of office bearers in three constituencies and one ward.

The constituencies are Nkhotakota North East, formerly held by the late Martha Chanjo Lunji of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dedza Central East, which was held by Mcsteyn Swithin Mkomba of the Malawi Congress Party Congress Party (MCP), and Mzimba East, whose legislator was the late Wezzie Gondwe.

Chimwalire Ward in Balaka South Constituency became vacant following the death of councillor Josephy Daniel of the DPP.

MCP publicity secretary Reverend Maurice Munthali said the party was confident that it would triumph in the elections.

“When we face elections of this nature, we take them very seriously because any election has to be won. Any election requires that the party gets prepared,” Munthali said.

He added that President Lazarus Chakwera, who is also MCP’s leader, had demonstrated that he had Malawi’s interests at heart.

“As such, we believe that people will vote for MCP candidates as one way of supporting President Chakwera,” Munthali said.

UTM spokesperson Frank Mwenifumbo said the party would field candidates in all the four election battlefronts.

“Based on our tangible manifesto, we are extremely sure that we are going to prevail,” Mwenifumbo said.

MCP and UTM are part of the Tonse Alliance-led administration.

DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira, who has since been replaced with Shadreck Namalomba, did not pick the phone when called Sunday but party secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey indicated that the erstwhile governing party would fight for its share in the by-elections.

“Why not,” she said.

United Democratic Front (UDF) publicity Secretary Yusuf Mwawa said the party would field candidates in Balaka, Dedza and Nkhotakota districts, adding that it was in the process of identifying candidates.

The DPP and UDF have, in the past, participated in national elections as one front, notably during the May 21 2019 tripartite elections.

The alliance carried the day in the 2019 presidential election, only for the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court to nullify the results. The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the subordinate court’s decision and the DPP and UDF lost the June 23 2020 presidential election after MCP’s Chakwera carried the day, with UTM’s Saulos Chilima as running mate.

According to the Mec calendar of events, the campaign will start on September 25, voting will be on October 26 while the results will be announced on October 27 2021.

Earlier last week, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid cleared Mec to conduct the elections and unbanned campaign gatherings.

Source: The Times Group《》RT

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