Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says political parties and stakeholders should take decisive action to encourage more women, youths, and persons with disabilities to stand as candidates in elections.
MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale made the call yesterday when announcing official results for the June 29 by-elections.
Kachale expressed concern over the low representation of the three groups in the by-elections considering that MEC has always maintained a 50 percent discount on nomination fees for women and persons with disabilities and 75 percent for the youth as an incentive for them to participate in elections as candidates.
“For these elections there were 13 candidates in all the areas of which only two were women. Fortunately, one won.
“There were no youths or persons with disabilities participating in the elections as candidates. On the contrary the Commission continues to encounter more women registering and showing up for voting than men. The Commission also observes active participation of the youths during campaign activities,” he said.
The June 29 elections were held in Nkhatabay Central where 60 percent of registered voters cast votes, Chikwembere Ward in Blantyre where 20.46 percent was the turnout and in Lalanje Ward in Nsanje where turnout was 38.66 percent.
Kachale said there was an improvement in voter turnout when compared to previous by-elections.
In Nkhatabay Central, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Symon Vuwa Kaunda emerged victorious with 5,422 votes while Gabriel Phillips Chirwa of United Democratic Front (UDF) got 22 votes and Raphael Joseph Mhone of Peoples Party (PP) got 5,163 votes.
In Chikwembere Ward there were six candidates and DPP’s Flossie Elizabeth Hera won 1,681 votes while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Abdulhackeem Annuary Hassan has been declared winner in Lalanje after amassing 3,448 votes;