Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has congratulated nine candidates, most of them belonging to the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP), for winning the Parliamentary and Council Ward by-elections that took place on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) held parliamentary and council by-elections in seven constituencies and two wards across the country.
At a news conference held in the Capital, Lilongwe on Thursday, April 1, 2021 MEC officially declared Felix Katwafu Kaira (UTM), Karonga North-west constituency, Francis Berekanyama (MCP), Lilongwe Msinja South constituency, Arnold Kadzanja (MCP), Ntchisi North constituency, Bizwick Million (Independent), Zomba Changalume constituency, Rodrick Khumbanyiwa (UDF), Chikwawa East constituency, Enock Chizuzu (MCP), Nsanje North constituency, Kafandakhale Mandevana (MCP), Nsanje Central constituency, Richard Mulingano (DPP), Chitakale Ward in Mulanje and Lucius Elia (DPP), Liviridzi Ward in Balaka winners.
In a statement issued after MEC’s official declaration, Nankhumwa notes that one of the basic tenets of democracy, a system of government that Malawians chose in the 1993 referendum, is to let people freely choose their representatives through a process of open elections.
“Through this process, the people of these referred constituencies and wards have chosen their parliamentary and ward council representatives in by-elections that have been certified as free, fair and credible,” reads the statement in part.
In a comforting message to the losers, Nankhumwa encouraged them “not to despair because there is still time to go back to the drawing board and strategize for next time”.
Nankhumwa, who also serves as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for southern region, also congratulates MEC and all stakeholders for managing and administering a credible and fair process.
DPP came out the most bruised in these by-elections, failing to reclaim three seats in Nsanje North, Nsanje Central and Karonga North-west.
Many commentators have attributed to DPP’s dismal performance to infighting as several officials fight for the party’s top leadership ahead of the party’s national convention, which will choose successor to its President Peter Mutharika.
On the other hand, MCP increased its numbers in Parliament by winning the Nsanje seats, in a territory traditionally considered as DPP political bedrock.