MCP clings to Lilongwe rural

 

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s tripartite elections indicate that the country’s oldest party, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is destined to cling to Lilongwe’s 23 constituencies.

Out of the 1 013 414 people who registered in the district, 578 992 registered in 18 constituencies situated in the district’s rural areas.

Meanwhile, results from four constituencies show that MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera has a clear lead over Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika and UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima.

Vote counting in progress at Chankhanga in Kasungu

Unofficial results from eight polling stations in Lilongwe North West indicate that Chakwera was winning by a wide margin with Mutharika coming a distant second with 187 votes followed by Chilima with 92 votes.

Chakwera has represented Lilongwe South West since 2014 soon after joining politics.

As we went to press last evening, the results showed that MCP candidates in Lilongwe rural constituencies were sweeping votes with MCP heavyweights such secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka leading by a wide margin in Lilongwe Mpenu while others are likely to have newcomers like Marko Ching’onga in Lilongwe Kumachenga.

MCP will rue the problematic primary elections which took place in some rural constituencies as it has lost seats in Lilongwe South East and Lilongwe Mapuyu South, according to results of the polling stations counted so far.

Casualties so far include long-time member of Parliament Willard Gwengwe in Lilongwe South East.

A similar trend was observed in the 2014 Tripartite Elections when MCP candidates won in 14 of the 18 rural constituencies with the rest going to independent candidates.

However, a political commentator George Phiri observed that MCP’s win in Lilongwe rural just continues to entrench the belief that the party’s popularity is tribal.

So far, unofficial results show that MCP is leading in the Central Region districts of Kasungu, Dowa, Ntchisi, Mchinji and Salima, where it has swept both presidential and parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, three aspiring contestants for Lilongwe City South East Constituency have threatened to take the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to court if it does not resolve anomalies that occurred at Chiwoko Tally Centre in the May 21 poll.

Ellen Kadango of United Democratic Front (UDF), Levy Luwemba of  UTM Party and Flackson Walapa of DPP—who were standing as parliamentary hopefuls—jointly wrote a letter to the constituency’s returning officer Edna Kaludzu, demanding suspension of  the electoral process be suspended and normalised.

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