Two of the country’s major parties People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have dropped out of next month’s race for the Thyolo East parliamentary by-elections.
The parties confirmed in separate interviews after The Nation established that names of contestants from the two camps were missing on the final list of those who presented their nomination papers yesterday to the constituency returning officer.
Only the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have fielded their candidates who will battle it out alongside seven independents on October 7.
The DPP has fielded Timothy Gersom Solomoni, who won his party’s last Saturday’s primary elections, while the only female candidate Bertha Chisanga is standing on MCP ticket.
There are four independent candidates, who include Babu Khamisa, Joel Milanzie, Chewasi January Bwanali and Lazarus Mangazi.
The UDF said it did not see the need to field a candidate because the party’s needs were already being addressed by their councillor.
“Our interests in Thyolo East are adequately addressed by our councillor who won the May 20 elections,” said UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga.
In a statement made available to The Nation yesterday, PP vice-president Brown Mpinganjira says they will not participate because “there was massive cheating in the May 20 Tripartite Elections and that Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] played a key role in the electoral fraud which damaged chances of our presidential, parliamentary and council candidates”.