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Mec sets by-elections date

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Brown Mpinganjira

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Wednesday announced that by-elections in all seven vacant constituencies and two wards will be held on March 30 2021.

A statement which Mec Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika has signed indicates that the electoral body would hold stakeholder meetings in the affected areas on Friday, February 19.

“All interested stakeholders are invited to these public meetings where the commission will be releasing the electoral calendar and will take questions for clarification,” the statement reads.

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The by-elections will be held in Nsanje Central Constituency, Nsanje North Constituency, Chikwawa East Constituency, Ntchisi North Constituency, Zomba Changalume Constituency, Lilongwe Msinja South Constituency and Karonga North West Constituency.

The elections will also be held in Liviridzi Ward in Balaka West Constituency and Chitakale Ward in Mulanje South Constituency.

Nsanje Central, Nsanje North and Chikwawa East constituency became vacant after the High Court nullified results of 2019 parliamentary elections in the areas.

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Ntchisi North, Zomba Changalume, Lilongwe Msinja South and Karonga North West Constituency became vacant following the death of their lawmakers.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) director of campaign Moses Kunkuyu said the party was ready for the by-elections.

“You will remember that, in three of those constituencies, it was the MCP which complained to the court to have the elections nullified. We are going back to the polls to prove that we, indeed, won,” he said.

UTM spokesperson Frank Mwenifumbo also said the party was ready for the polls.

“Now that the date has been set, we will be meeting people on the ground to identify our candidates,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira said the party has gone through by-elections before and emerged victorious.

“In terms of polling, we are ready but our concern is that we risk gathering too many people which contravenes Covid prevention guidelines. This is a competition and no candidate wants to lose. In the end, you will see that masses of people are gathering along the way to March 30, which is risky,” he said.

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