The ruling People’s Party (PP) has kicked started preparations for its primary elections for candidates in the parliamentary and local government elections with some aspirants sailing through unopposed even before the actual conduct of the polls on December 21.
PP held an all inclusive conference held at St John of God Hall in Mzuzu on Sunday where all its aspirants from the northern were in attendance.
The first phase which will commence on December 21, 2013 and each aspirant for MP has paid MK50,000 for males and MK40,000 for females. While aspirating Councillors have paid MK15,000 for males and MK10,000 for females.
Apart from paying these fees, all aspirants will also finance the printing of ballot papers, payment for support staff and the procurement of ballot boxes.
The number of aspirants is not yet known but PP director of Campaign Zikhale Ng’oma said the party has received overwhelming response.
State Vice President Khumbo Kachali is the automatic candidate for the Mzimba South West Constituency after incumbent Raymond Chataika Nkhata bowed out of the race “out of respect for the big man”.
The party parried away insinuations that the decision by Kachali to stand again as MP is an indication that he will not be President Joyce Banda’s running mate in 2014.
“It’s his birth right to contest whether he will be running mate or not. It’s the president prerogative to choose her running mate and nobody has a say in that,” Northern Provision Chair Person frank Mwenifumbo said.
But sources told NyasaTimes that Kachali ordered Nkhata not to stand or harbour any ambitions to stand.
Nkhata told Nyasa Times that Kachali’s decision to stand again as MP caught him unaware.
“He never told me all this time. I only learnt of his decision to stand last Tuesday. But since his wish is to see the constituency developed then I have no problem with that because those were my wishes as well,” Nkhata said.
Nkhata also said he publicly relinquished his ambitions to avert any possible animosity and quarrels with Kachali.
Presidential Advisor of religious Affairs Reverend Malani Mtonga is also the PP candidate for Karonga South as nobody wished to contest on PP ticket in that constituency.
The same is true for Joseph Kachali in Mzimba Central Constituency.
Northern region chair for PP primary Elections Committee Harry Mkandawire said the party will use a replica of centres used by Malawi Electoral Commission for its supporters to vote for aspirants.
“This time around we have abandoned the practice where our supporters stand behind a blindfolded candidate. We want all 165 people in an area to vote at a nearest centre,” Mkandawire said.
Zikhale Ng’oma said the decision to allow area members to vote is meant to increase participation in the voting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :