Firebrand politician Mohammed Sidik Mia has reacted to the by-election results which has seen his opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidates coming second in both Malindi Ward in Mangochi North East constituency and in Milonde Ward in Mulanje South East constituency.
Writing on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, Mia says MCP is viewing the results in a case of a glass being half full and not half empty.
Mia’s rection concentrated on the Mangochi-Malindi ward results arguing this was the area the party had the opportunity to freely campaign as opposed to Mulanje-Milonde Ward where the party was literally denied the opportunity to conduct rallies. The UDF candidate in this ward won with 2735 votes while MCP came second with 1060 votes.
The MCP aspiring vice president said that they are optimistic with the result they got in Mangochi.
“We are optimistic with this result and in fact we are looking at this result in a case of a glass being half full and not half empty.
“To us, this result shows that the reformed MCP, under Dr Lazarus Chakwera, is conquering new frontiers. We are encouraged with this result and we promise that we will continue to work hard in making our case to the people on why Malawians should entrust MCP and Dr Chakwera with power in 2019.”
Nevetheless, Mia took a swipe at the Malawi Electoral commission (MEC) for tolerating ‘political hooliganism’ in Mulanje Milonde ward during the by-election.
“Nevertheless, we wish to register serious disappointment in the way MEC handled the Mulanje-Milonde by-election. Complaints were made to them about violent incidences as perpetrated by the supporters of DPP. Our supporters were beaten. Our supporters were hacked. Our supporters were intimidated. Our party was literally denied the opportunity to campaign in the Ward. This was in the public domain. Radios, newspapers and TV’s reported about these violent incidences.
“In all this, MEC chose to pay a blind eye to the complaints lodged to them such that the campaign period ended without our party conducting any meaningful campaign. Just imagine! Sad!” lamented Mia.
He added: “If this will be MEC’s conduct in 2019—that parties make genuine complaints and they do nothing—then, the 2019 elections risk turning into a chaotic election.
“With due respect, MEC, which is legally mandated to be independent and impartial in applying the electoral laws, failed Malawians in as far as handling the Mulanje-Milonde Ward by-election was concerned. MEC has set a bad precedent in tolerating political hooliganism and in future, never say no one warned you on the need not to bury your heads in the sand when confronted with such challenges. Next time rise to the occasion and do the needful. It is about the credibility of an election. It is even about the safety of our citizens,” said Mia before congratulating the Mangochi-Malindi ward councilor elect for his ‘credible victory.
In Milonde Ward, DPP’S Mike Skinner got 2719 votes defeating his closest challengers Donata Nyanga of Malawi Congress Party(MCP) who got 531 votes . Independent candidates Lackson Micheal got 127 votes, Leo Roy Panga earned 140 votes and DIckies Somanje polled 80 votes.
UDF’s Kassim Limamu won the Malindi Ward after polling 2 735 votes and MCP’s Ambrosse Hamisi trained with 1 060 votes. People’s Party Hassan Chikuta polled 878 votes while George Chiwaula an independent candidate had 530 votes.
A total of 5,287 votes were cast in seven centres namely, Sangusya, Malindi, Makumba, Mtengeza, Mdala Makumba, Taliya and Chipereka and out of the cast votes, 5,203 were valid while 83 were null and void, according to the election’s Ward Returning Officer, Chipiliro Masamba.
The UDF candidate took lead at five centres, namely, Mtengeza, Makumba, Mdala, Chipereka, and Sungusya while MCP’s Hamisi led at Taliya and PP’s Chikuta at Malindi.
The whole voting process was peaceful as acknowledged by the district’s Elections Coordinator, who is also District Commissioner for Mangochi, Reverend Moses Chimphepo.
“We are very happy that the election has been free and fair; there hasn’t been any conflict from start to the very end,” Chimphepo told journalists Tuesday night at Malindi Tally Centre.
Earlier in the morning, immediately after opening the centres, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Dr. Jane Ansah, also expressed satisfaction with how peaceful the Malindi Ward by-election had been, even at campaign level.
“It was very commendable to note that leaders of the two parties, UDF and MCP, had conducted rallies in the ward on April 7 without any conflict despite the two parties using the same road to access their respective venues,” she said.
Malindi Ward has 17,075 registered voters, according to MEC records, thus with 5,287 having participated in the April 10 election, 11,788 did not turn up to vote representing 69.0 percent.
The by-elections in the two wards, follow the deaths of the incumbents John Saidi Macollera of Malindi Ward, who died on December 1 2017 and Felix Majawa, who died on December 12 the same year.
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