MEC to court stakeholders to launch by-elections: MCP-DPP showdown

After a heated debate with the main opposition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) regarding the interpretation of re-run, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will Thursday hold stakeholders’ meetings to launch by-elections that will be held on June 6 in four areas.

Mwafulirwa: Stakeholders meeting

MEC director of Media, Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the Commission was all set to roll out the activities for the by-ections that will be centre of attraction to many stakeholders.

The by-elections are taking place in four areas which are deemed to be the stronghold of the MCP and the party will be geared to protect its territory at the same time grab Lilongwe City South East from the ruling party.

The DPP will also want to take the polls as an opportunity to prove that its popularity is growing and that it is making inroads into the opposition stronghold, apart from fighting to retain Lilongwe City South East constituency.

MEC publicist said all delegates coming to the meetings should maintain peace and calm as has been always been the case in the past.

During the meetings the Commission will be explaining to the stakeholders how it has planned to conduct the by-elections and also release the electoral calendar.

According to MEC, during  the meetings stakeholders will also be given an opportunity to ask question regarding any aspect of the management of the by-election and MEC commissioners will be there to respond and clarify.

The meetings have been scheduled to take place in all the four areas where the by-elections will take place.

Mwafulirwa said all political parties, aspiring candidates, traditional leaders and civil society organization have been invited to the launch meeting.

He added nomination papers will ne available for collection by aspiring candidates and parties wishing to contest, soon after the launch eetings.

The by-elections come fast on the heels of argument and counter-argument between the Commission and the opposition Malawi Congress Party on the interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling ordering for a re-run in Lilongwe City South East constituency.

MCP was contesting MEC’s decision to open up the contest to new and old candidates arguing that the race could have been the preserve of its candidate, Ulemu Msungama and Democratic Progressive Party’s Bently Namasasu who were parties to the court case.

These by-elections are expected to be a showdown of dominance between the DPP and MCP.

The ruling party will want to use them to demonstrate a growth of popularity and making of inroads in the MCP’s stronghold areas.

The main opposition party will be looking forward to use the by-elections to demonstrate that it remains a strong party and will be bent on wrestling the Lilongwe City South East seat from the ruling party.

The other places where the by-elections will be taking place are Lilongwe Nsozi North Constituency, Mayani North Ward in Dedza North Constituency and Mtsiliza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency.

Unlike Lilongwe City South East, the vacancies in these three areas arose because of the death of those who were elected in May 2014.

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