PREPARATIONS FOR BY-ELECTIONS THROUGH--MEC
The Malawi Electoral Commission says preparations for the October 12 by-elections in Dowa South East and Mangochi Malombe constituencies are now over.
Commission Spokesperson, Mr. Aubrey Sumbuleta, says the electoral body has dispatched ballot papers to the two constituencies and trained staff to man the elections.
In an interview with Frontline MediaWorks on Monday, Mr. Sumbuleta, says all is set for the Tuesday’s by-elections in both constituencies.
“Electoral Commission is very ready for tomorrow’s by-elections and over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday the Malawi Electoral Commission was training presiding officers in readiness for the elections,” says Mr. Sumbuleta.
Dowa South East constituency fell vacant following the death of DPP MP Mr. Hastings Chitsamba in January this year; while Mangochi Malombe became vacant after the death of UDF MP, Mr. Hillary Ajinga in December last year.
Right now four aspirants are contesting in the Dowa South East constituency by-election; namely, Mrs. Halima Daudi of the Democratic Progressive Party; Mr. Tarscizio Yetala of the United Democratic Front; Mr. Alfred Chika of the Malawi Congress Party; and Mr. Dalitso Likoloma, an independent.
In Mangochi Malombe, five candidates have lined up for by-election: Mr. Akidu Malick of the UDF; Mr. Romeo Bwanali of the DPP, Mr. Aubrey Matumula, Mr. Durban Chibwana, and Mr. James Chikwenga are contesting as independents.
Mr. Sumbuleta said that over the weekend the electoral body conducted training for presiding officers in the two constituencies, adding that the presiding officers are training electoral clerks.
Meanwhile, the United Democratic Front (UDF) Director of Research Mr. Humphrey Mvula says it has deployed monitors in the two constituencies.
“We have sent our monitors on the ground. Our candidates together with the party structure have deployed adequate monitors as required by the Malawi Electoral Commission,” says Mr.Mvula.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says its team of monitors is ready for the by-elections.
DPP Administrative Secretary Mr. Wakuda Kamanga says the party has trained 78 monitors to manage the process.
“We have nearly 78 monitors who are being trained today to manage the process,” says Mr. Kamanga.
“We will also have a supervising team that will be going from station to station just to make sure that the elections are going on smoothly.”
Last week the Malawi Congress Party also indicated is ready for the elections.
Forty two thousand and thirty three people registered for the polls in Dowa South East constituency and thirty one thousand one hundred and eighty six have registered in Mangochi Malombe constituency.