Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Dr. Chifundo Kachale has declared the results of the Tuesday by-election as a true reflection of the will of the voters.
Speaking in Blantyre on Wednesday when he announced the results, Kachale expressed the Commission’s satisfaction that the by-election was conducted in an environment where the electorate were free to elect candidates of their choice without fear and intimidation.
“The Commission, therefore, declares these elections as a credible one that has met legal requirements and international best practices generally in as far as free and fair elections are concerned,” he said.
Kachale further disclosed that the by-election registered an improvement in the voter turnout. He cited Nkhata Bay Central Constituency, which had a total of 10, 648 voters turning up for polling out of the 17, 684 registered voters.
He said this represents 60.21 percent voter turnout. This was unlike in the recent by-election in Lilongwe Msozi North where the turnout was 40.93 percent, Lilongwe City South East turnout was 18.06 percent and Nsanje Lalanje where the turnout was 57.17 percent.
MEC has declared Symon Vuwa Kaunda of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) victor after amassing 5, 422 votes against 5,163 votes of the Tonse Alliance-backed contestant, Raphael Joseph Mhone.
In Nsanje Lalanje Ward, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) contender, Abdulhackeem Annuary Hassan, scooped the with 3, 448 votes, beating three other contestants while DPP’s Flossie Elizabeth Hera emerged winner with 1, 681 votes.
Kachale commended the candidates for conducting a violence-free campaign. He challenged the victors to deliver on their promises.
“To those that have not made it I say, there will always be next time. Go, reflect, and plan on how to win next time. I wish to thank everyone for participating in these by-elections and allow me to thank my colleagues in the Commission for all the hard work,” said Kachale.