Three major political parties in the country have said they will soon start holding elections for local structures in the 36 added constituencies recently confirmed by Parliament.
Initially, the country had 193 constituencies and 462 wards but, following lawmakers’ confirmation of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) report, the country now has 229 constituencies and 509 wards.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) publicity secretary Reverend Maurice Munthali told The Daily Times that any political party’s success is anchored by strong constituency committees.
Munthali said, MCP being the oldest political party in the country, they will ensure that they conduct elections in a transparent manner for people to choose people who are capable of steering the party to victory in the 2025 Local Government, parliamentary and presidential elections.
“We take note that the increase in the number of constituencies will demand that we reposition ourselves strongly and strategically, hence the need to revamp all constituency structures,” Munthali said.
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said their party will use members who are already in other committees to lead the campaign of setting up strong constituency structures.
“Where necessary, the party will hold elections to fill positions that are vacant. We already started the process because, when demarcation consultations were made, we had an idea about proposed boundaries. What is needed now is to fill positions that have no leaders,” Kaliati said.
However, Democratic Progress Party (DPP) spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said the party will hold elections in new constituencies once it is done with its exercise of reviewing the party’s constitution.
Namalomba said DPP has never supported the demarcation exercise, adding that that is the reason it might take long before electing leaders to head new constituencies.
“We know that electing constituency leaders will also affect district committees. Therefore, our hope is that we will only elect leaders in new constituencies when nearing [the] 2025 [elections]. Otherwise, we already have constituencies,” Namalomba said.
Demarcation and boundary review exercises are supposed to be happening every five years but the country last conducted a review in 1998.