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People’s Party U-turns on electoral participation resolution

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Former ruling People’s Party (PP) has abandoned its earlier resolution not to participate in any elections as long as the current leadership of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) remains in control.

Prior to 2014 by-elections in Thyolo East, Blantyre North constituencies and some six wards, the party national executive committee (Nec) released a statement which declared that the party did not have any trust in the current Mec administration.

However, the party, which went on to shun the by-elections and disowned all candidates who were its members including former Secretary General Paul Maulidi, has announced that it is participating in the forthcoming Local Government Elections.

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The intra-party conflict that ensued after the party resolved not to participate in the October 2014 by-elections resulted in bad blood between Maulidi and the rest of party leadership.

In an interview yesterday, PP spokesperson Ken Msonda said that time Mec’s integrity was a national concern but there are positive developments currently.

“Even the electoral stakeholders agreed with what the PP was saying that we needed to change and there have been some changes on the forthcoming by-elections for the councillors. So, because of those changes plus the electoral commission’s own admission that we have flaws in our electoral laws, we are going full throttle in participating in these by-elections,” Msonda said.

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On the changes that have happened since the last by-elections to guarantee the party’s change of heart, Msonda said Mec is better placed to explain such changes.

The elections will be conducted in five wards which include Luchenza Ward in Luchenza Municipal Council, Zomba Central Ward in Zomba City Council, Msikisi Ward in Mangochi Town Council, Chibanja Ward in Mzuzu City Council and Khwawa Ward in Karonga District Council.

Other major parties such as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have also confirmed their participation in the elections.

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