By Macdonald Thom:
Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Dedza East Constituency, Juliana Lunguzi, lost to Patrick Bandawe in primary elections the party held in the constituency Sunday.
According to presiding officer Peter Chalera, Bandawe got 821 votes against Lunguzi’s 815.
Lunguzi and Bandawe were not readily available for a comment as we went to press.
The elections were tight from the onset and it took over three hours for the list of delegates to be confirmed.
“From the results I have, Mr Bandawe has won the elections,” Chalera said.Advertisement
“The situation was tense. We were under immense pressure to do a proper audit of the areas, which were 210.”
He said, out of the 210 areas, delegates from 31 areas did not come for the elections but the polls proceeded because a quorum was formed.
MCP deputy director of recruitment Peter Mazizi, who was present during the elections, confirmed that Bandawe was declared the winner.
Other candidates who contested were Mussa M’bwana, Steven Biswick and David Kupempha.
When people were called to queue behind their preferred candidates, it was clear that the race was tight between Lunguzi and Bandawe.
Very few people stood behind Biswick, M’bwana and Kupempha.
In the process, those who stood behind M’bwana joined Bandawe’s queue.
An official results sheet which The Daily Times has seen shows only the votes which Lunguzi and Bandawe got.
The 50-50 Campaign Management Agency Team leader, Viwemi Chavula, who was present during the elections, said parties have to do a lot in the way they conduct primary elections.
“Political parties have to find a way of improving this process. The environment itself is not safe. Even the process of counting the votes is not good,” Chavula said.
Lunguzi is the latest big name to lose in MCP primary elections after Lilongwe Mapuyu South, Joseph Njobvuyalema, Dedza North West MP Alekeni Menyani and Kasungu West MP Alex Meja.
Other big gurus who lost primary elections for MCP are Vitus Dzoole Mwale and Watson Makala Ngozo.
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