Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says there should be a law to enable the registrar of political parties to deregister political parties that are inactive for a particular period of time. This, she said, would help curb the voter apathy that continues to dog elections.
MEC’s Chairperson Jane Ansah made the remarks in Blantyre today during the announcement of Lilongwe South Constituency by-election which was held yesterday, January 30 2020.
She said since MEC does not make laws, “so we leave the matter like that.” she said.
MEC has since declared Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Peter Dimba as the winner of the Lilongwe South Constituency. He has won with 11 230 votes beating four other contestants. His closest contender Patson Kachingwe Mthyoka, an Independent candidate got 1800 votes.
Ansah bemoaned the low turnout which she attributed to inactiveness of some political parties in between elections. She said there is a need to stop and reverse the trend of political parties not participating in elections.
“You maybe aware that there are over 50 registered political parties in the country and yet only three political parties participated in the by-election just gone by. If you notice campaign rallies are well patronised but not on polling day. I think parties will do well to remain active throughout. This, among others, will help them keep in touch with their electorates even in between the elections.
The commission also admitted that voter turnout is very high during general elections but slumps during by-elections.
Ansah explained: “It is high time that people realized that real support every candidate and party needs is a vote. That is the ultimate demonstration of true party membership. Attendance to a political party won’t usher a candidate into office.”
Reacting immediately to the announcement of the by-election results, MCP national campaign director Moses Kunkuyu said the election has truly shown the will of the people.
“MEC should be congratulated for there were no reports of irregularities in the way they conducted the by-election. We are also grateful to the people of Lilongwe South Constituency for the confidence shown to our party through Peter Dimba who was carrying a message of hope,” Kunkuyu said.
Lilongwe South Constituency had five candidates. With a total of 32,459 registered voters, a total of 15,247 voters turned up for polling. This represents 46.97 percent voter turnout. There were 295 null and void votes.