Political parties drop from 50 to 3 in Malawi

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The number of active political parties in the country have dropped from fifty to three, a development that is of great concern to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

This was revealed during declaration of results for December 2015 local by-elections. Speaking in Blantyre MEC Chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera said the country have over 50 registered parties but only three contested in by-elections.

During the Tripartite Elections only 19 elections participated. Whereas in the October 8, 2014 by- elections five political parties participated. In the August 25, 2015 by-elections seven political parties contested.

MAXON-MBENDERA

Mbendera: Worried.

The active parties that contested includes Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People’s Party (PP).

“Now the number of parties contesting is at three. This is raising questions that; if a party cannot contest in the national elections, cannot take part in by-elections, what elections will they participate in? Do we still need their existence in the political parties register or we should find a formula of deregistering such parties so that we remain with the active ones? There is a debate around this and I hope the scenario here will also contribute to the conclusion of the said discussion,”

The elections were also hit by reduced competition in Local Government By-elections. In the August by-elections that took place in five wards, four of the wards had six candidates while one had five candidates. But this time around both wards have two candidates each. This raises questions as to whether Malawi still value the position of councillors or not.

Mbendera added that the elections were nearly uncontested and was silent from the women empowerment,advocates. During the Tripartite Elections there were so many stakeholders rising up to give moral, technical and material support and encouraging women to contest in elections.

Stated the SC, “We have noted no firm action from the activists to support women participation. MEC adopted the cycle approach to elections management and we expect all the stakeholders to follow suit. They should not be active during national elections and then go under like submarines.”

“The by-elections offer an opportunity for the activists to concentrate their efforts and encourage women to participate in elections. There are many civil society groups that were accredited to help with voter education. However, many are not seen to be active during by-elections. We urge them to continue using their accreditation during by-elections. They should also adopt the electoral cycle approach.”

Currently he has advised Development Partners that provide support to the CSOs to continue pumping in funds to implement activities during the in-between the ballot period.

This is the third by-elections held after the 20 May, 2014 Tripartite Elections and was on 21st November in all the three areas. The Commission registered 2,368 (1,115 men and 1,253 women) first-time voters bringing the total number of registered voters to 67,557 from 65,189 registered in 2014. The Commission further received 10 nomination papers on 1st December 2015 through the Returning Officers.

There were six candidates in Zomba Chisi Constituency and two candidates in each of the two wards of Mtope and Ngala

Out of the 10 candidates who presented nomination papers, only 2 were women representing 20 per cent. One woman contested in Zomba Chisi and the other in Ngala Ward. Mtope Ward had no female contestant. If compared to the last by-elections on August 25 this year, the current situation is retrogressive.

According to MEC out of the 29 candidates who contested on August 25, a total of 8 were women representing 28 per cent.

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102 Comments

  1. Aaaah that’s gud why should they waste their money on something that would not produce any positive results!!!!! Remember when you plan any seed you expect to harvest

  2. This has never happened in the msoso time, i think you are the coz sir,,,,, the way you handled the last tripatite left much to be desired of elections by some parties sir,,

  3. Enawa amangofunira kuti aziwike not to participate in elections in so doing they just waist their tym n money for nothing n the poor country like Nyasaland we can not hv more than 3 parties coz the country is very poor n small

  4. That is very good. It is now time to change electral laws to state that the person who get 50 percent of the votes is qualified to become state president. This was totaly imposible with many political partys.

  5. MEC r u mad why r u complaining 3 in our country is ok all those who fail to attain a certain # of votes shud b closed down even if they come out near campaign time or else huge some of money shud b put foward for them to fail to get registered

  6. MEC r u mad why r u complaining 3 in our country is ok all those who fail to attain a certain # of votes shud b closed down even if they come out near campaign time or else huge some of money shud b put foward for them to fail to get registered

  7. You Maxion Mbendera, why are you surprised with the low turnout of both contesting political parties and voters? Don’nt you know why yet? People have cmpletely lost trust in MEC

  8. Do u not know dat Many parties in malawi r brifcase parties? Rt now dey r thoroughly packed in different brifcases waiting 4 de next General elections.After all y should fifty parties waste its time & money competing over de constituencies dat r not even fifty.I Like deir desicion.

  9. Kkkkkkkk This shows something.Come 2019 the same 3parties will compete neck by neck coz there is alot of selfish politicians they always take voters 4granted&Don’t expect more competetion in 2019 coz we hve lost in our politicians.

  10. It could be even much better to have only 2 parties because these other small parties are just there to split the votes chifukwa cha dyera ending up joining ruling parties for financial gain,

  11. Tigawane dziko apa.. Akumwela mukhala Mozambique… Pakati mukhala Zambia… Ku mpoto mukhala Tanzania… Ku mpoto you are lucky ndava nyanja yanu ili ndi mafuta…

    • we are not copy monkeys England and America should not be something to compare with us we are not imperialists, we are Malawi and Malawi has nothing to do with Europeans it is black nation

  12. that is good news…….y having so many political parties some of them whose ideas are just the same. it is economically wise to have a small number of political parties.

  13. This is great news. Greedy, opportunistic people creating briefcase parties just to steal government money or become absent MPs. This will save a lot of paper when printing ballot papers, save time when counting votes and make the remaining parties more accountable.

  14. Munthawi yathu ya 1party zinthu zinali bho kenako ndinalowa DPP koma zichita uyu wooneka ngati waledzera koma ali sobayu ndinatuluka.Apapa pangofunika kuti zipani zonse zithetsedwe kupatula MCP,apo ai dziko ligawidwe patatu akumwerafe tikhala mbali ya South Afrika apakati mupita Zambia akumpoto mupite ku Rwanda akakutumbuleni kumeneko

  15. This should be regarded as a positive step because most of these parties died just after born.It is a result of greedy that we have broated number of political.You will them with identical facts in there manfestal.

  16. THE OTHER PARTIES ARE RIGHT NOT TO PARTICIPATE BECAUSE EVEN IF THEY WIN YOU ALWAYS STEAL THEIR VOTES SO WHAT IS THE REASON OF PARTICIPATING THATS COMMON SENSE EH!

  17. local by elections can not be a yardstick for the number of parties in malawi since most of the time these parties are not interested in local by elections.

  18. Three parties thats ok. This will make Mbendera cry less. Already we are seeing problems, just 3 by elections but results taking over 20 hours to announce.

  19. THE IS NO NEED FOR OTHER SMALL PARTIES TO VOTE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY WONT WIN THE ELECTION BECAUSE ITS NOT FREE AND FAIR MUNAWABELA MA VOTE AWO AND NOW YOU DONT CARE ABOUT THEM