Registered voters in Mangochi West, Mangochi North East and Phalombe North constituencies will today vote for their respective members of Parliament (MPs) to fill vacancies created by the court nullification of the May 21 2019 parliamentary elections.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said there are 27 190 voters expected to cast their votes in Mangochi West while Mangochi North East has 31 501 voters and Phalombe North 28 670 voters.
In an interview yesterday, MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the commission is set to conduct the by-elections today and that all materials have been delivered to all polling centres in the three constituencies.
“So far so good, the distribution exercise since Sunday has been successful,” he said.
Mwafulirwa said the commission will ensure adherence to Covid-19 precautionary measures, including provision of hand-washing facilities and physical distancing.
The three constituencies fell vacant after the High Court of Malawi nullified results in three different cases over irregularities. The court ordered fresh elections.
By the order of the court, candidates eligible to contest are those who contested in the annulled elections. The same will also apply to voters.
In Mangochi West, the contestants are Geoffrey Chisomo (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP), Stanley Phiri (UTM Party) and independents Simeon Harrison (who is supported by Malawi Congress Party-MCP),Rueben Kanyama, Gomani Banda and Joyce Chikumba.
The candidates in Mangochi North East are Idi Kalosi (United Democratic Front-UDF), Duncan Mannah Cassim (UTM Party) and Martin Chikati Nyengo (independent).
In Phalombe North, the hopefuls are Esther Kazembe (MCP), Justin Mokowa (UTM Party) and independents Promise Salima, Wilfred Lipita and Mabvuto Bokosi.
Meanwhile, National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust regional civic education officer (South) Christopher Naphiyo has commended MEC for the timely distribution of materials, saying this will give more room for correcting mistakes.
“I am impressed with timely distribution of materials by MEC. This will ensure a free, fair and credible election and I am sure, where they have shortfalls, they will address them before we go to the ballot,” he said.
The by-elections come barely a month after MEC held similar elections in Karonga Central and Lilongwe North West constituencies as well as Makhwira Ward in Chikwawa.