Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is today scheduled to start holding primary elections to elect candidates for parliamentary and local government elections in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MCP director of elections Elias Chakwera said in an interview on Monday the primary elections will start in Dowa East, Dedza North and Lilongwe South East constituencies.
He said the party will conduct the elections in phases for a start to draw lessons from the first phase and improve on them where necessary.
On his part, MCP publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the party conducts primaries where the voter registration exercise is completed.
He said: “In this case, we will start our primary elections in the Central Region. However, the elections will be conducted only in constituencies where all is set and the playing field is level with structures that have been authenticated by the party’s director of elections.
“The party does not want to deny anyone their right to contest in any position nor will the leadership favour anybody to the disadvantage of other aspirants.”
In a related development, Abida Mia, wife to MCP vice-president Mohammed Sidik Mia, says she is considering to contest as a member of Parliament (MP) in Chikwawa Nkombezi Constituency on an MCP ticket.
Initially, the MCP vice-president, who once served as legislator for the area, was set to contest in the constituency but decided to pave the way for his wife.
In an interview on Thursday, Abida Mia said she was approached by traditional and other community leaders in Chikwawa Nkombezi to contest as MP but she is still considering the request.
She said: “You know it is a big decision to make. I have to think about it. They say they want a candidate or an MP who has the people’s welfare at heart and the fact the honourable Mia will give up his seat they are afraid that their needs will not be met.”
Currently, the constituency’s legislator is Lloyd Malora of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
DPP and other parties that already conducted their elective national conventions—notably, United Democratic Front (UDF) and Alliance for Democracy (Aford)—are yet to indicate when they will have their primaries.
People’s Party (PP) is set to hold its convention on August 30 and 31, but it has not said anything on primaries.
Through primary elections, political parties identify contestants to represent them in parliamentary and local government elections.