October 21, 2020

Eight candidates vying for vacant MP seat in Lilongwe North West Constituency

As the race for the parliamentary seat tightens up in Lilongwe North West Constituency, eight people have collected nomination forms ahead of the upcoming by-election.  They comprise of five independent candidates, representatives of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP), main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Mbakuwaku Movement for democracy (MMD). Speaking in an interview on Monday,  Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Constituency Returning Officer for Lilongwe North West, Sungeni Kawinga described the figure as a reflection of how democracy has matured in the country.  “This is a very encouraging number and gives people enough options on the ballot paper should they proceed to present the papers to MEC which could possibly translate into a higher turnout at the polls as these candidates have huge followers,” said Kawinga. She also revealed that the list include 3 women who are all standing as independents. This is in sharp contrast to the last three by-elections which the commission organized and had no women on the ballot paper. The development has since been welcomed by women’s rights activist, Barbra Banda who describe it as encouraging towards bridging the gender equality gap.  “It is very encouraging to see women collect nomination forms and shows  that they are ready to run the  affairs of the country however it is important that the playing field should be levelled so these women stand a chance as their male counterparts,” said Banda. According to the electoral calendar for the 10th November by-elections, MEC will start receiving nomination forms on 7th October.  The candidates so far are as follows and will be seeking to replace incumbent president of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera who resigned as MP for the area prior to the 23rd June polls 1. Blessings Bokola – DPP 2. Rextone Mitambo Banda – Independent 3. Christopher Njerengo – MMD 4. Kameta Chimwemwe – Independent 5. Bryson Majoni – Independent 6. Zelesi Gomani – Independent 7. Dr. Mphatso Jones Boti – MCP 8. Deborah Mitala – Independent By Joshua Mphanda, MEC Stringer

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