Newly registered UTM Party will conduct its much awaited parliamentary and local government primary elections in all the 193 constituencies and 462 local government wards across the country at once on January 3.
To contest on the ticket of the newest party, which is led by Vice-President Saulos Chilima, aspirants will be required to pay K50 000 for members of Parliament (MPs) and K20 000 for ward councillors
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said all the primary elections will be done in one day, assuring aspirants that the polls will be free, fair and credible as opposed to the primary elections conducted by other parties.
Speaking on the sidelines of a political rally conducted by UTM president Saulos Chilima at Kauma in Lilongwe on Monday, Kaliati said the party has studied the causes of chaos and violence in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“Ours will be different from the other parties’ primary elections in that the UTM elections will be smooth, free, fair and credible,” she said.
She said the party would pay for any aspirant who will win the election should they have no money.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is charging K500 000 for men as fee to participate in the parliamentary elections and K250 000 for women whist those aspiring to be councilors will pay K50 000 for men and K25 000 for women.
Presidential aspirants will pay a whopping K3 million.
“We can even pay for the presidential candidates who will not have the money because our president (Saulos Chilima) wants competition during the elections,” she said jokingly to the laughter of the mammoth crowed that thronged Kauma ground.
Political commentator Mustafa Hussein urged UTM to walk the talk on free, fair and credible elections, saying as a new party, it has to a good image to win the trust of the people before the May 21 highly contentious elections.