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Big guns fall in MCP primaries

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Two former members of Parliament for Mchinji West, Theresa Mwale and Henry Fwataki are among the people who lost in Malawi Congress Party (MCP) primary elections for the constituency on Saturday.

Mwale, a former cabinet minister, who was MP for the constituency from 2009 to 2014 and Fwataki were two of the seven people who competed in the elections. They lost to Jephter Mwale, a retired secondary school head teacher.

According to MCP Director of Elections, Maxwell Thyolera, Jephter Mwale amassed 571 votes. His closest contender, Fwataki got 83 votes.

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The former cabinet minister was on sixth position with 38 votes. Others got the following votes: Councillor Dlamini 81, Charles Kamwangala 69, Patricia Banda 68 and a Mr. Kamanga 1.

Two aspirants, retired brigadier Mecres Chinjala and Joseph Kalanda withdrew from the race.

“As usual in any race you expect one winner and before the elections all the aspirants signed code of conduct forms where they pledged to respect the outcome of the elections as long as there was transparency and openness,” Thyolera said.

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Mchinji West parliamentary seat fell vacant on March 13 this year, following the death of Billy Kanjira Banda, who was MP for the constituency.

Recently, the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Maxon Mbendera, said the Commission was supposed to hold by-elections in the constituency before the expiry of terms of office of the current commissioners on May 18 and of the Chairperson October 10 this year.

The Commission further issued a draft calendar for the by-election, which it said would be conducted depending on availability of funding.

According to the draft calendar, official campaign period is expected to start on April 20 and end on May 8, 2016. Voting is expected to take place on May 10, 2016.

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