Nsanje North Member of Parliament (independent) Esther Mcheka Chilenje on Monday was elected First Deputy Speaker of parliament unopposed, retaining the position she held between 2004 and 2009.
Chilenje went unopposed after former ruling People’s Party (PP) nominee Wakuda Kamanga and governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Francis Kasaila withdrew from the race.
Kasaila told the House that he withdrew his proposed name for first deputy speaker in deference to Esther Mcheka-Chilenje because both are legislators in Nsanje.
While Kamanga said he wanted to support gender balance.
Mcheka-Chilenje was first elected Member of Parliament for Nsanje North on Republican Party (RP) ticket during the bloody and controversial 2004 elections and was subsequently elected First Deputy Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly.
She lost her seat in 2009 to Frank Viyazyi, from the DPP.
Former president Joyce Banda appointed Mcheka-Chilenje Deputy Ambassador for Malawi to the UN, based in United States.
She resigned to contest for the parliamentary seat.