By Enock Balakasi
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Saturday suspended primary elections in Jessie Kabwila’s Salima North West constituency to a later date following disagreement on number of delegates who were supposed to vote.
Party officials were forced to postpone the polls as they feared disturbances at the function would escalate into violence at the venue of Mlesi Primary school in the district.
However, tension blew when election officials led by Director of Political Affairs, Max Kalamula, took to the ground both supporters and delegates for verification.
According to Max Kalamula, said the decision to cancel the elections was arrived at in order to protect lives of people after consulting both sides.
The battle is between incumbent lawmaker Jessie Kabwila and Enoch Phale, but Kabwila has upper hand because of having genuine structures.
Kalamula, in an interview, said the decision to postpone the elections was arrived at in order to settle internal matters and that the election team had challenges in separating voters from supporters.
“Some of the issues are internal, so we need to go back and sort out. On the other hand, we had problems in separating the delegates from the supporters,” he said.
“We have suspended the primaries after we agreed with all camps that we verify eligible delegates to vote. Otherwise, it couldn’t be possible to continue with the elections to avoid violence.
Sources said there were two parallel structures that were formed after Kabwila was involved in party disagreements that led to her suspension at one point before she was reinstated.