Malawi: Patel Wins Primaries With Landslide

United Democratic Front (UDF) Vice President for the Eastern Region, Lillian Patel Sunday won with a landslide in the party's parliamentary primary elections for Mangochi South Constituency.

Patel who is the incumbent Member of Parliament for the constituency scooped 1,032 votes against her opponent, Jiya Rajab who amassed 96 votes.

The incumbent legislator expressed gratitude for the trust people of the area have in her by choosing her to represent them again on UDF ticket.

"I am very happy that people have seen the future in me again as this is a second time we have held the primaries ahead of 2019 after the first attempt was marred by violence forcing party officials to postpone the exercise," Patel told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview.

She expressed optimism that the UDF would form the next government, saying the party was going to feature more than 90 parliamentary candidates in the 2019 elections.

"The party would shortly announce the date when its followers would escort the party's flag carrier, Atupele Muluzi to present his nomination papers at COMESA Hall in Blantyre," UDF Vice President disclosed.

Reacting to the outcome of the results, Rajab conceded defeat, saying as a beginner in politics, he still believed that time was the best teacher.

"We have all seen the results, I and my followers have accepted the outcome," he said adding that, "This is my first time to contest in primaries but next time, I know I will do better."

Executive Director for Pan African Civil Educators Network (PACENET), Steve Duwa who was present during the primary elections, hailed the people of Mangochi South for supporting a woman candidate.

He said as activists drumming support for women participation in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, it was great news to note that Mangochi has a woman candidate so far endorsed to represent the people.

Duwa hailed the party for holding primaries peacefully citing that the organization would continue to mobilize people to vote for female candidates during the general elections so that the 50:50 dream should be a reality.

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