Malawi: MCP, UTM, DPP, UDF Upbeat Ahead of October 26 By-Elections

20 September 2021

Malawi's key political parties--Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF)--have all said they are looking forward to the October 26 by-elections whose results are expected to be announced the following day on October 21, 2021.

A Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) calendar of events indicates that campaign opens this Saturday on September 25, 2021 after the Presidential Taskforce on Covid clearance that the Commission conducted the elections and unbanned campaign gatherings last week.

MEC will hold elections in three constituencies and one ward following the death of the office bearers.

The constituencies are Nkhotakota North East, formerly held by the late Martha Chanjo Lunji of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Dedza Central East, which was held by Mcsteyn Swithin Mkomba of the Malawi Congress Party Congress Party (MCP), and Mzimba East, whose legislator was the late Wezzie Gondwe.

Chimwalire Ward in Balaka South Constituency became vacant following the death of councillor Josephy Daniel of the DPP.

MCP publicity secretary Reverend Maurice Munthali said the party was confident that it would triumph in the elections.

"When we face elections of this nature, we take them very seriously because any election has to be won. Any election requires that the party gets prepared," Munthali is quoted as saying in the press.

According to him, President Lazarus Chakwera, who is also MCP's leader, had demonstrated that he has Malawi's interests at heart.

"As such, we believe that people will vote for MCP candidates as one way of supporting President Chakwera," Munthali said.

UTM spokesperson Frank Mwenifumbo also said the party would field candidates in all the four election battlefronts.

"Based on our tangible manifesto, we are extremely sure that we are going to prevail," Mwenifumbo said.

MCP and UTM are bedfellows in the Tonse Alliance-led administration.

DPP secretary general, Grezelder Jeffrey, indicated that the erstwhile governing party would fight for its share in the by-elections.

"Why not," she said, while UDF publicity Secretary Yusuf Mwawa said the party would field candidates in Balaka, Dedza and Nkhotakota districts, adding that it was in the process of identifying candidates.

The DPP and UDF have, in the past, participated in national elections as one front, notably during the May 21 2019 tripartite elections.

The alliance carried the day in the 2019 presidential election, only for the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court to nullify the results. The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the subordinate court's decision and the DPP and UDF lost the June 23 2020 presidential election after MCP's Chakwera carried the day, with UTM's Saulos Chilima as running mate.

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