The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has suspended its primary elections aimed at soliciting candidates for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The decision comes a day after fracas ensued in Dedza North where angry people damaged cars belonging to party officials who went to monitor the elections.
A statement from MCP director of elections Elias Chakwera states that the party received several complaints from contesting candidates that there are shortfalls the party needs to rectify before it continues with the elections.
It reads in part: “Following the two primary elections, a number of concerns have revealed some shortfalls in our system. My directorate is seriously considering a review of the process, including establishing an appeals panel to handle grievances.
“Apparently there seems to be some information gaps when communication is channelled through our structures; verification of areas will have to quickly be done to ensure that all aspirants have the same information…”
Meanwhile, some MCP aspirants filed a case against party officials, arguing that there are inconsistencies in the whole process as there is no proper and timely communication.
In an interview yesterday, MCP publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the primary elections, which were held in Dowa East and Dedza North constituencies, will not be affected by the suspension.
Commenting on the violence that took place in Dedza, Munthali said the party believes in democracy.
He said: “We are saddened by what happened in Dedza. We have noted with greet shock and concern knowing that we are the oldest and most democratic party. As a party we are not going to back anybody, but the interest of the people.”
The fracas in Dedza erupted after one of the aspirants Savel Kafwafwa withdrew from the race, accusing his opponent Patrick Chilondola of switching venues.
After the withdrawal, his supporters began pelting stones at Chilondola, which led to the destruction of cars and houses.
Unofficial results The Nation got shows that Chilondola won the election with 756 votes while his opponent Fellad Banda, who decided to contest despite the fracas, did not get any vote.
According to Munthali, primary elections will continue after every concern is sorted out.n