The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will hold by-elections in three constituencies in the Southern Region on December 15 but ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) does not have a candidate in one of the constituencies.
MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale announced the polling date at a press briefing today.
The three constituencies are Mangochi West, Mangochi North East and Phalombe North which fell vacant following the nullification of 2019 parliamentary election results for the constituencies.
Kachale said there will be no registration of new voters and the Commission will maintain the candidates who contested in the 21st May 2019 parliamentary elections together with statuses and party affiliations as ordered by the Courts.
“New candidates are not eligible to contest. This is because these are by-elections. In cases where a candidate has withdrawn his or her nomination, the withdrawal will be dealt with in accordance with the law and there will be no substitution of the candidates,” he said.
Ruling MCP does not have a candidate in Mangochi North East where there is a total of three candidates: Duncan Mannah Cassim of UTM, Idi Kalosi of UDF and independent candidate Martin S. Chikati Nyengo.
Before the court ruled that candidates of 2019 elections should be maintained, MCP’s candidate in Mangochi West Constituency was Simeon Harrison.
However, Harrison will now stand as an independent candidate and the MCP candidate in the constituency is Beatrice Ireen Lwanda Ngaunje.
In Phalombe, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) does not have a candidate as its candidate in the nullified 2019 elections Anna Kachikho has chosen to withdraw from the race.
Meanwhile, Kachale has warned political parties that it is an offence to force, induce or influence a candidate to withdraw from an election.
He noted that Section 46 (5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act says that a withdrawal of a candidate must be voluntary and must be under oath sworn by the candidate before a commissioner for oaths.
“As we go into these by-elections let everyone be aware of these provisions and avoid contravening them,” he said.