Malawi Elections Commission (MEC) has announced that the campaign period for the 2019 Tripartite Elections shall be opened on 19th March and close on 19th May 2019 at 6:00am, ready for the D-Day, May 21.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, MEC also said if has appointed Constituency and Ward Returning Officers, who shall be receiving nomination papers from candidates wishing to contest for the office of Member of Parliament and Local Council from the dates beginning 4th February 2019 to 8th February 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each day at the places that candidates can identify through MEC offices and that of the District Commissioner’s (DCs).
From January 3, DCs office and the Constituency and Ward Returning Officer’s offices have been handing out nomination papers to aspiring candidates or their representatives for independent candidates and secretaries general for those who will be sponsored by political parties.
“The Chief Elections Officer shall receive nomination papers from candidates wishing to contest for the office of President of the Republic of Malawi at the Electoral Commission Offices at COMESA Hall in Blantyre from 4th February 2019 to 8th February 2019,” says the statement.
Meanwhile, by close of business on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, MEC had collected nomination papers from 13 aspiring presidential candidates under party ticket and independents.
The candidates under party ticket are the incumbent, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party; Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima (UTM); Atupele Austin Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and former President Dr Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda of the People’s Party (PP).
The others are Dr Cassim Chilumpha of Tikonze Peoples Movement (TPM); Chimbuna Belekiah, United Independence Party (UIP); Dr Chris Daza of the Democratic Peoples Congress (DEPECO) and Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD).
The independent presidential candidates are Henry Jailos Mbewe, Smart Swira, Pastor Dr Baxter Boyd Natulu and Ras Chikomeni David Chirwa.
MEC also stressed that every candidate is encouraged to take their nomination papers for pre-inspection from the day they collect the papers up to the time before presenting the nomination papers.