MCP, UTM resist Lilongwe south by-election

Written by  MBC Online

Malawi's opposition parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM are resisting to the holding of a by-election in Lilongwe south constituency.

Late Agness Penemulungu Late Agness Penemulungu
18
September

MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka and UTM Publicist Joseph Chidanti Malunga both said the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should consider not holding the by- election until the presidential result case is concluded.


On Tuesday, MEC announced holding of the by-election in Lilongwe south constituency on November 5. Elections in the area were postponed following the death of UTM candidate Agnes Penemulungu in the run up to the May 21 tripartite elections.


 “Please take note that the commission had initially planned to conduct a by-election in this constituency on July 9.  However, this was put on hold due to lack of funding,” says Sam Alfandika, MEC chief elections officer in a statement.


Alfandika says in preparation for the by-election, the commission shall hold a stakeholders’ meeting on October 3 in the constituency where all information shall be provided about the election process and release of election calendar.


But MCP secretary general Eisehower Mkaka said while MEC was constitutionally mandated to hold the by-election within 60 days of vacancy, but MEC should suspend the plan “until the court proceedings are over.”


While on his hand, Malunga thinks: “It is ill timed.”

 

Meanwhile, MCP says it is fielding the former legislator for the area Peter Dimba whilst the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it will be fielding Frank Mazizi.


MEC’s announcement comes brely three weeks after Lilongwe-South constituents petitioned the electoral governing body over delays to conduct parliamentary by-election in the area.


In a petition dated August 26 2019, and signed by over 50 members of community from Traditional Authority (T/A) Masumbankhunda, the concerned group said the delay was denying them their constitutional right to have a representative in Parliament, a development that is also affecting their access to Constituency Development Fund. The group MEC five days to respond to their concerns.


“The Malawi Constitution clearly stipulates that a constituency shall not remain unrepresented for more than 60 days but it is now three months since elections in our constituency were called off,” the petition reads.

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