Political parties taking part in the November 10 by-election in Karonga Central Constituency have commended the country’s pollster, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for a transparent ballot verification and dispatching exercise that took place on Sunday and the Constituency’s nerve centre Chiwondo Teachers’ Development Centre (TDC) ahead of the polls.
In an interview after verifying if indeed the seal of the locks of a vehicle that ferried the ballot papers from Lilongwe to Karonga was intact, UTM Party regional governor for the North Moses Mlenga said it was pleasing to note that MEC conducted the event transparently in the presence of all stakeholders participating in the election.
Mlenga said: “As an individual and as a party, I am glad with the way MEC has handled this. There was the presence of the police and all party representatives. MEC has given us all the information that we are supposed to know. This transparency is what we are looking forward to having throughout this period”.
Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) candidate Nellie Sichali shared Mlenga’s sentiments, saying she was impressed with what she had witnessed.
On his part, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) representative Yapona Chawinga also hailed MEC for the job well done.
“MEC has impressed us. They took time to explain and unbundle every pack to make sure that we understand every step,” Chawinga said.
However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPPs) Patrick Kishombe while parting MEC on it back for the good job so far, has urged the pollster to sustain the tempo if the results of the by-election are to be credible and acceptable by all stakeholders.
In an interview, Karonga District Council director of planning and Development David Gondwe who spoke on behalf of the district’s elections coordinator Paul Kalilombe said generally the exercise was good as it was well patronized.
He expressed optimism that the election will be conducted in a peaceful manner to uphold democratic values of voters.
“I am hopeful that all will end well so that we vote as Karonga and move together as Malawians to promote peace and love. It will be shameful if the elections crumble after all these preparations by MEC and vigorous campaign by the five candidates,” Gondwe said.
Meanwhile, polling materials have been dispatched to the constituency’s 22 polling centres in readiness for the Tuesday by-election.
The five candidates contesting for the Karonga Central Constituency seat are MCP’s Leonard Mwalwanda, independent candidate Shackie MaryFlorence Nthakomwa, DPP’s Ernest Mwalughali, Nellie Sichali of MMD and UTM Party’s Frank Mwenifumbo,