Parliamentary aspirants in the lakeshore district of Karonga Tuesday started presenting their nomination papers to pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), through their constituency returning officers, in ceremonies punctuated by pomp and glamour.
Karonga has five constituencies with Karonga Central Constituency the most popular following a spate of violent occurrences prior to the May 2014 tripartite elections.
After presenting his papers, at around 2pm, Karonga central incumbent parliamentarian Frank Mwenifumbo said it was vital that people in the district upheld peace in the election season.
He said time has come for Karonga to practice civilised politics and make history by avoiding politics of castigation and name calling but instead dwell much on issue based politics.
“The 2019 should be a year with a new political chapter as advised by Paramount Chief Kyungu and Bishop Martin Mtumbuka [of Karonga Diocese] who have been instrumental in peace mediation talks process to Karonga aspiring candidates.
“This will be practiced during the whole campaign period up to the polling day. Everyone should be free to conduct campaign rallies everywhere in this country,” Mwenifumbo said.
In Karonga Nyungwe constituency Lucy Mwafulirwa presented her papers on Tuesday morning on an independent ticket while deputy regional governor for the north Smart Mwakayira presented his nomination papers and is ready to battle it out for the Local Government seat for Lupembe Ward on a DPP ticket.
However, the exercise could not go on without drama as an aspiring Member of Parliament for Karonga North-West constituency Underson Mwayipinga surprised people when he submitted his nomination papers on a Peoples Party (PP) ticket instead of Democratic People’s Congress (DEPECO), a party which brought him to the political arena.
Karonga district elections clerk Steven Ndau said good preparation is enabling the smooth running of the exercise.
He said constituency returning officers (CRO) equipped the district elections supervisory team (DEST) with skills on how to go about the process in an impartial and professional way.
“These officers were told to allocate candidates different days and time (s) so that they should avoid commotion and any related incident that may incite violence.
“And again, all candidates were advised to warn their supporters not to cause havoc to their political rivals but rather let every party escort their candidates in a violent free and peaceful way for the sake of our hard won democracy,” said Ndau.
The exercise started on Monday, February 4 and will go up to Friday, February 8 this year. Meanwhile MEC has said it will not extend days for the nomination presentation exercise currently underway in all districts in Malawi including Presidential nominations at COMESA in Blantyre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :