Malawi Elections: Three present nomination papers

Three presidential hopefuls in the forthcoming July 2 fresh presidential polls on Wednesday and Tuesday submitted their nominations papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), which will scrutinise the nomination papers and declare eligible to stand.

The presentation of the nominations started on Wednesday and finished at the Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre.

Mutharika and Muluzi

A total of nine candidates were lined up to present their nominations to the electoral body with five on the first day and the remaining ones on the last day of the process.

On Wednesday, only two candidates presented their nominations and the first to present was Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) who unveiled Vice President of this country, Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM party leader as his running mate.

Later, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) also presented his nomination papers. Kuwani maintained running mate Archibald MacMillan Kalawang’oma who was lo the candidate’s runningmet in the now nullified May 21 polls.

Ras David Chikomeni Chirwa also wanted to go on the ballot as an independent candidate. Just like last year, the commission refused to receive his nomination paper after he failed to meet some of the conditions such as payment of Mk2 million nomination fee and collection of enough signatures from the country’s districts.

Another independent candidate, Reverend Hardwick Kaliya, surprised people when the commission was ready to receive his nomination papers after he disclosed that he has withdrawn and endorsed Tonse Alliance of MCP, UTM and other six parties.

And on Thursday, two independent candidates Phunziro Mvula and Khwechani Nkhoma withdrew their candidatures respectively with the former saying he does not have trust in the current commissioners of the electoral body and the latter said he has done so because of his personal reasons.

Smart Swira, another one who wanted to stand as an independent candidate, saw his nominations rejected after he failed to attach the deposit of the payment of nomination fee.

Chakwera (R) with former President Joyce Banda

Last to present was President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party. The Malawi leader unveiled Atupele Muluzi who is leader for United Democratic Front as his running mate during the polls.

And in his candidacy speech after presenting the nominations Mutharika said that the forthcoming elections are not what people in this country want.

“On May 21 2019, you people of Malawi voted in an election which was free, fair, peaceful, transparent and credible as said by international observers… result of that election was the will of people, one year later we’re going to another election, this election is not the will of the people,” said Mutharika.

Malawi is expected to go to polls after the panel of five Judges on February 3 this year ordered for the fresh presidential polls. The Court also nullified last year’s May 21 polls which it found had several irregularities as per petitions and evidences which were submitted by the Vice President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party President Lazarus Chakwera who were the first and second petitioners in the case.

The ruling did not go well with the respondents, Mutharika and the country’s electoral body, who challenged and appealed the matter to the Supreme Court and eventually the court  will deliver its judgment today.