Voting is underway in the by-elections in Lilongwe North West with mixed fortunes while there is voter high turn out in Karonga Central Constituencies.
In Lilongwe North West Constituency contenders for the seat are; Mphatso Boti of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Blessings Bokola candidate for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Njelengo Cristopher Nolex for Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) and independent candidates Goodwell Ndiwo Banda, Bryson Majoni as well as Chimwemwe Kameta.
There were initially seven candidates but one independent candidate Deborah Mitawah withdrew from the race.
A survey of six centres showed mixed results as of ten o’clock morning with scores of people standing on queues to vote against a background of over seven thousand registered voters in these centres.
The centres surveyed included Malembo primary school, Sendwe, Pathungo, Mbandanga, Chazozoma and Kazumba.
The mixed fortunes in these centres have been attributed to the farming season but Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) remains optimistic of a higher turnout in the afternoon.
Speaking in an interview, MEC Commissioner Olivia Liwewe described the turnout as encouraging and urged people to maintain the peace.
“We have some substantial queues so it is a good start but hopefully we will see more people in the other afternoon coming to vote and as MEC we would also like to urge people to maintain the peace here so everything can proceed peaceful,” said Liwewe.
Polling centres will close at six o’clock evening, thereafter results will be counted at each station and then sent to the District Commissioner for the tallying of the total votes for the constituency.
The by-election is being held following the resignation of legislator for the area Lazarus Chakwera before his election as President of Malawi on June 23.
As early as 0530am, there were long queues at Mwenilondo, Lupembe, Lughali and Mlare Polling centres waiting for their turns to cast a vote.
According to National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust regional civic education officer Vincent Kalawa, the turn up is good and encouraging.
“We are impressed with the turn up,” Kalawa said.
Karonga Central constituents are expected to elect one candidate out of the five candidates.
The five candidates are; Leonard Mwalwanda of MCP, Ernest Mwalughali of DPP, UTM Party Frank Mwenifumbo, independent candidate MaryFlorence Nthakomwa and Mbakuwaku Movement for Development Nellie Sichali.
The independent candidate Nthakomwa has already cast her vote at 0630am while UTM Party candidate Frank Mwenifumbo voted at 0945a at Mwenilondo polling centre.
About 16, 180 are expected to vote today to elect the august house representative in a closely contested election
Voting will close at 6pm this evening.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :