President Peter Mutharika on Friday presented his nomination papers for re-election to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at Chichiri International Conference Centre in Blantyre, widely known as Comesa Hall, where he reiterated that, given another five years which will be mandatory the final, he would transform the country beyond imagination.
Days prior to the presentation of the papers, there was a lot of talk on who the 79-year-old leader would pick for his running-mate.
But Mutharika settled for Everton Chimulirenj, the current Minister of Civic Education, Culture AND Community Development. He is also the incumbent Ntcheu North East legislator.
He described Chimulirenji as man of integrity and well educated.
“Chimulirenji is man of integrity, well educated and dedicated,” said Mutharika.
According to Mutharika, he was ready to move the country from poverty to prosperity.
“But our journey from poverty to prosperity depends on the choices we make,” said Mutharika.
He said the May 21 presidential election was going to be “watershed.”
Said Mutharika: “This year, we will to choose between taking Malawi forward, or taking Malawi back. We will choose between building this country or destroying everything we have begun.”
He added: “We are looking forward to five more years of constructing more roads, hospitals, school.
“Five more years of improving condition of service for our civil service. It is our choice to take Malawi forward.”
Mutharika’s rule has been marred with a series of hiccups including intermitted power supply but he said he had faith in Malawians that he would, nevertheless, make it.
“When we found this country broken, bruised and economically wounded, we chose to fix and heal our economy.
When we found this country in a crisis, we chose to regain our national pride and economic confidence to drive forward our country,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika, who is expected to face stiff competition from a number of candidates including his own vice Saulos Chilima, said he was “set to take Malawi to new heights.”
He added: “We have set the stage for making Malawi a prosperous nation.”
Among others, Mutharika said his government would focus on microfinance, health, education and security plus youth empowerment.
He urged the citizenry to engage in “civilized politics in the spirit of peace, love and unity.”
MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said the presidential candidate should practice modern politics by engaging in issue-based campaign.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and a former Attorney General, said Malawians were tired of mudslinging and stressed the need for leaders to adhere to and publicise the election code of conduct.
While assuring that the electoral body would manage the electoral process with impartiality, she said: “Elections are a competition which no-one participates with an expectation of losing. However, it remains a clear fact that only one person emerges winner at the end.
Ansah said the race also gets intense and muddy, but urges the candidates to inspire first-time voters born after the year 2000, to vote.
Meanwhile, MEC has once again rejected nomination papers from presidential aspirant Damiano Ganiza (independent) for not meeting set conditions.
Ganiza did not pay nomination fees K2 million, had no running mate, did not present adequate nomination signatories from all district among others.
Ansah has sicne declared presentation of nomination papers closed.
MEC has from Monday this week received a total of 13 nomination papers, out of which 10 have been accepted and three rejected.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :