Electoral commission announces official results for Tuesday by-elections

The Malawi Electoral Commission has made an official declaration of results for the October 26, 2021 by-elections held in Mzimba East constituency, Nkhotakota North East constituency, Dedza Central East constituency, and Chimwalire ward in Balaka South constituency

Making the declaration at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, the commission’s Chairperson Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale said the commission has been meeting since close of polls to review the complaints submitted to it regarding polling, review null and void votes brought to the main tally centre by the Returning Officers, and determine on the results brought to the main tally centre by the Returning Officers.

Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale: Thanked stakeholders

“We are satisfied that it was conducted in an environment where the electorate were free to elect a candidate of their choice without fear and intimidation. We are also confident that the results reflect the democratic will of the voters. The commission, therefore, declares this election as a credible one that has met legal requirements and international best practices generally as far as free and fair elections are concerned,” Justice Kachale told reporters and election stakeholders.

He said there were a total of 87,271 voters in all the three constituencies and one ward of which 42,253 turned out for polling representing 48.42 percent overall. Total valid votes cast were 41,828 and total null and void results were 425 representing 1.01 percent, he said.

According to the Chairperson, Mzimba East constituency had six candidates. With a total of 18,833 registered voters, a total of 10,571 voters turned up for polling. This represents 56.13 percent voter turnout. There were 43 null and void votes. This represents 0.41 percent of the total votes cast.

Aford supporters chanting,pic by_ Aliko Munde.mana

DPP’s Wesley Kumwenda got 149 votes, Christopher Chabe Mnyenyembe of UTM got 1,322 votes, Donnex Daniel Muva of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) got 3,619 votes, Dr. Reuben Ngwenya, Independent got 1,521 votes, John Phiri of Freedom Party, 283 votes, and Wachepa Phiri of the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) got 3,634 votes.

The commission declared Wachepa Phiri who contested as AFORD candidate the winner in the Mzimba East Constituency by-election.

Nkhotakota North East constituency had nine (9) candidates. With a total of 25,225 registered voters, a total of 10,932 voters turned up for polling. This represents 43.34 percent voter turnout. There were 90 null and void votes. This represents 0.82 percent of the total votes cast.

Chimwemwe Chidothe of UTM got 472 votes, Aleke Kamangeni of UDF got 47 votes, Aisha Silver of the DPP) got 1,930 votes, and Overstone Kondowe of MCP got 6,742 votes, among others. The commission declared Kondowe winner.

Justice Kachale said there were seven (7) candidates in Dedza Central East constituency, a total of 29,630 registered voters, and a total of 17,021 voters turned up for polling. This represents 57.45 percent voter turnout. There were 262 null and void votes. This represents 1.54 percent of the total votes cast.

The commission declared Joshua Malango, who contested as an MCP candidate, the winner in the Dedza Central East constituency by-election. Malango scooped 6,266 votes against Independent candidate Solomon Kachitsa who amassed 5,992 votes, UTM’s Patrick Siwinda who got 1,338 votes, and DPP’s Elliot Kasawala who got a meagre 366 votes, among the other contestants.

In Chimwalire Ward in Balaka South Constituency, there 10 candidates and DPP’s Osman Sani Mapira prevailed against the others, bagging 1,498 votes.

The by-elections followed the death of the seat holders. According to the MEC Chair, in accordance with section 63(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, section 32(2) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act and section 23(2) of the Local Government Elections Act, the commission had to organise by-elections to fill these vacancies so that people should continue to have representation in the Parliament and the council respectively.

Appreciation to stakeholders

The Chairperson extended appreciation to the Government through the Ministry of Finance for timely release of funds to conduct the by elections, saying the by-elections operations ran without any logistical challenges and uninterrupted because funding was provided according to the budget and corresponding cash flow that the MEC submitted.

“The commission also wishes to extend its gratitude to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 for the technical and material support rendered in the management of these by-elections.

“Further, the commission appreciates the efforts by the faith-based organizations and religious leaders who helped in voter education by reading to their congregations the letters that the commission sent to them with various voter information details,” he said, cherishing also the role the Malawi Police Service plays in providing security throughout the process.

He also acknowledged “the vital role” that the media play in sensitizing the public on these by-elections and all our activities as MEC.

“The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) should also be commended for supporting training of political party representatives and also supporting Multi-party Liaison Committees (MPLC) meetings.

“The commission recognizes and appreciates the District Commissioners and other officials from the councils that were engaged as Returning Officers for a job well done. The commission also acknowledges members of the District Election Supervisory Teams who managed the by-elections on our behalf on the ground,” he said.

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