Voting is underway in Lilongwe North West Constituency where six parliamentary candidates are vying to replace Lazarus Chakwera who is now president of Malawi.
The contenders for the seat are; Mphatso Boti – Malawi Congress Party, Blessings Bokola – Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Njelengo Cristopher Nolex – Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) and Independent candidates Goodwell Ndiwo Banda, Bryson Majoni as well as Chimwemwe Kameta.
There were initially seven candidates but one independent candidate Deborah Mitawah withdrew from the race two weeks ago.
Centres surveyed including Malembo primary school, Sendwe, Pathungo, Mbandanga, Chazozoma and Kazumba showed mixed results in terms of turnout.
The mixed fortunes in these centres have been attributed to the farming season but Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) remains optimistic of a higher turnout in the afternoon.
Speaking in an interview, MEC Commissioner Olivia Liwewe described the turnout as encouraging and urged people to maintain the peace.
“We have some substantial queues so it is a good start but hopefully we will see more people in the other afternoon coming to vote and as MEC we would also like to urge people to maintain the peace here so everything can proceed peaceful,” said Liwewe.
Polling centres will close at six o’clock evening, thereafter results will be counted at each station and then sent to the District Commissioner for the tallying of the total votes for the constituency.
The by-election is being held following the resignation of legislator for the area Lazarus Chakwera before his election as President of Malawi on June 23.