Small political parties in the country say they were not able to participate in the recent by-elections in Mangochi and Mulanje because they were keeping resources for the general election in 2019.
Mafunde president George Nnesa said it would not be prudent to waste resources on a by-election when the general election is just a year away.
“It is not worth wasting resources when we have a general election just a year away,” said Nnesa.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the United Democratic Front (UDF) and Peoples Party (PP) participated in the Tuesday local government by-elections
in Malindi in Mangochi and Milonde in Mulanje.
Other candidates stood as independents in the by-election won by the UDF in Mangochi and DPP in Mulanje.
Alliance for Democracy secretary general Christopher Richie said the party could not afford to participate in the by-elections because it was still raising money for its national convention.
Newly formed DePeCo party led by Chris Daza said they are putting structures nationwide in preparations for next year’s Tripartite polls.
“We want the share of the national cake and we are working hard on the ground to win a big slice next year,” said DePeCo Director of Publicity, Ernest Maganga.
National Elections Systems Trust’s Unandi Banda said President Peter Mutharika has just signed into law a piece of legislation which would compel all political parties whether big or small to participate in elections.
“The new law would compel all political parties to participate in the by-elections otherwise they would be deregistered,” said Banda.
Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah said the by-election apathy by small parties is a matter of great concern to the pollster.
She said all political parties, whether good or small should always participate in any election, saying they have a great role to play in the country’s democracy.