Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)has declared Dedza East member of Parliament (MP) Juliana Lunguzi as winner of the primary elections and will represent the party in the parliamentary race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
After a close contest at Mankhama Primary School on Sunday, presiding officer Peter Chalera declared Patrick Bandawe winner with 821 votes against Lunguzi’s 815.
But MCP main elections committee meeting on Monday analysed the elections and declared Lunguzi the winner, party spokesman Reverend Maurice Munthali has said.
Munthali said on Monday that the committee analysed that Lunguzi had three long queues behind her against Bandawe’s two.
“Lunguzi has been declared winner of the primaries and has the MCP ticket,” said Munthali.
“We have established that a candidate in that race, having received votes that were insufficient for a victory, is alleged to have yielded the votes his supporters cast for him to another candidate, which is not only irregular, but is unethical and a serious breach of party conduct.
“The Directorate of Elections therefore recommended that that candidate be disqualified and his votes discounted together with the figures of the declared winner who was a primary beneficiary of the violation,” said Munthali.
Munthali said the resolution reflects MCP’s belief in and committment to rule of law which is the fourth pillar of Chakwera’s t agenda that he has prepared to roll out when he becomes Head of State in May, 2019.
“It also demonstrates our commitment to uniting Malawi, the fifth pillar of that agenda, ensuring that women like Hon. Lunguzi, who has been a stellar performer in Parliament, have an equal stake in the development agenda of Malawi,” he added.
Other candidates who contested were Mussa M’bwana, Steven Biswick and David Kupempha.
Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali has since cautioned MCP to tread careful in handling contentious results as it continues to conduct primary elections across the country.
“MCP should tread with caution with how they are handling these primary elections lest they give their detractors in DPP and UTM to take advantage of any anomalies characterising the process,” Munthali told Nyasa Times in reaction to MCP’s verdict on Dedza East.
He said it is important that MCP adhere to principles of a fair, transparent and credible election, and those administering these elections must be seen to be impartial in the eyes of all aspirants.
“If MCP feels it may not have the capacity to administer these elections they can always outsource from independent bodies to just ensure that their elections are free and fair. Otherwise, the manner they handle these primary elections especially in constituencies where there are perceived party heavy weights has the potential to build or destroy the party in readiness of 2019 elections
“At the end of the day, it may be their fierce rivals in DPP and UTM who will benefit from this,” he said.
Primary elections in MCP have been marred by violence and complaints of irregularities in many constituencies, prompting some losing candidates to allege that the party has preferred candidates.
At the onset of the primaries in August, about 23 aspirants took the party to court alleging that it was being undemocratic and unconstitutional in handling primary elections.
In October some concerned sitting MPs told the media that something was amiss in the way the primaries were conducted; hence, bringing divisions and confusions in the party.
Last week, MCP also suspended primary elections in Jesse Kabwila’s Salima North West Constituency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :