The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Monday launched activities in readiness for by-elections at Kamwendo in Mchinji West constituency slated for November 1, 2016.
The by-elections in the constituency follow the death of former parliamentarian for the area, Billy Kanjira Banda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) who died on March 13 this year.
In her speech during the stakeholders’ calendar of events launch for the constituency, MEC Chairperson of electoral services Commissioner, Jean Mathanga called on political parties participating in the elections to encourage their supporters to turn up during the polling day and vote to avoid voter apathy.
“There is tendency during elections that people attend campaign rallies in their large numbers but do not vote on the actual voting day, as a commission we are concerned and we appeal to all leaders to encourage people to vote,” Mathanga said.
She also called on political parties to desist from violence during the campaign and elections day.
The MEC Commissioner also said as this is the first time for the new Commissioners to conduct elections; they expect the elections to be credible and fair with support from all stakeholders.
“I call on all officers who will be conducting the elections not to favour any candidates but be neutral when discharging their duties,” she said.
The November 1 Mchinji West is expected to be a tight race between two leading contenders Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Stephen Kamwani and MCP’s Jephther Mwale