Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have announced plans to hold primaries to identify candidates for the forthcoming October 17 by-elections at the end of this month.
MCP has indicated it will hold primaries in the remaining areas of NsanjeLalanje Constituency and NdirandeMakata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency during the same period.
DPP director of elections KondwaniNankhumwa said in an interview last week his party currently has three aspirants who have shown interest to contest in Lilongwe City South East Constituency.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) called for a by-election in the constituency after the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ordered a re-run following the nullification of the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections that declared DPP’s Bentley Namasasu winner. The elections were contested in court by MCP candidate UlemuMsungama who argued there were irregularities in the elections.
Msungama was again chosen to represent MCP in the by-elections while former People’s Party (PP) presidential running mate and Cabinet minister SostenGwengwe emerged winner in Lilongwe Msozi North primary elections held in March.
In an interview on Thursday, Nankhumwa said the party will soon announce the actual dates and that all is set for the exercise.
However, he said the party will proceed with the primaries in Lilongwe City South East Constituency if by that time the court will not have ruled in a case in which one aspirant, Reuben Ngwenya, is contesting his eligibility.
Ngwenya, a former diplomat at the Malawi Embassy in Japan, wants the High Court to order MEC to open the registration process again so that he can register as a voter to be allowed to contest.
The court action follows MEC’s rejection of an earlier request by Ngwenya to be registered.
MEC will hold by-elections in Lilongwe Msozi North, Lilongwe City South East and NsanjeLalanje constituencies as well as Mayani North Ward in Dedza North, Mtsiriza Ward in Lilongwe City West and NdirandeMakata Ward in Blantyre Malabada.