Chiradzulu Central legislator, Hannif O.G Issa, has withdrawn from the May 21 parliamentary race on health grounds, bringing to eight the number of remaining contestants.
Issa has been the Constituency’s independent MP since 2014.
Announcing the withdrawal on Tuesday during vetting exercise of ballot papers, Chiradzulu Central Constituency Returning Officer (CRO) Chiyembekezo Mbewe, said he got the communication on the same day.
Vetting of ballot papers is a process whereby aspirants verify their names, images and symbols on the tentative ballot papers, before the final printing of the same.
Mbewe said Issa’s family decided that the MP should withdraw from the parliamentary race as he is still recuperating from his undisclosed illness.
“As CRO I have already informed the Malawi Electoral Commission on the matter, such that we are processing his withdrawal forms,” he said.
Mbewe further hailed the timely decision, saying it will not confuse voters, as Issa won’t appear on the final ballot paper.
“Let me thank him for taking this decision before the printing out of final ballot papers. This has saved the Commission the task of cancelling his particulars on the final ballot paper, which usually confuse voters, who still vote for the cancelled candidate,” he said.
However, Mbewe said the Commission will not reimburse the K500,000 nomination fee Issa paid, saying it is voluntary withdrawal. He added that the nomination fee is only returned when a candidate is disqualified.
Meanwhile, Issa is yet to comment on the matter.
Some of the notable development projects Issa implemented in his 5-year tenure is the state-of -the- art Yasini Police Unit.