About 2 615 people are set to wrestle in the Local Government Elections (LGE) on May 21 with independent contenders leading the pack.
Just as is the case with parliamentary candidates, some 831 independent contestants representing 31 percent of aspiring candidates are aiming to be among the fortunate 462 councillors.
According to an approved list of candidates released by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Fri
The DPP is followed by UTM Party with 417 candidates while the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has 403 and United Democratic Front (UDF) follows with 228 contenders.
Other political parties fielding candidates in LGE are People’s Party (PP) with 181; Democratic People’s Congress (Depeco) has 44 while Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and Freedom Party (FP) have 25 and 17, respectively.
Umodzi Party (UP) will field eight candidates, Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) has six , Tikonze People’s Movement (TPM) has three while People’s Transformation Party (Petra) and the Democratic Federal Alliance (DFA) are fielding two and one candidates, respectively.
However, the commission’s approved list indicates that only 581 women, representing 22 percent of aspiring candidates will contest in the elections.
In the parliamentary race, the number of female contestants has soared from 268 in 2014 elections to 304 this year.
However, despite the increase none of the political parties has achieved the 50:50 mark which the 50:50 campaign team is advocating, seeking to increase women’s participation in politics.
Some 6.8 million Malawians registered to vote in the May 21 Tripartite Elections to elect a President, 193 members of Parliament (MPs) and 462 ward councillors. n