Unofficial results in Tuesday’s by-election conducted in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency show that Symon Vuwa Kaunda of the Democratic Progressive Party was leading, as we went to press.
Kaunda is likely to retain the seat if he beats Gabriel Chirwa of the United Democratic Front and Ralph Mhone of People’s Party.
Elsewhere, in Lalanje Ward in Nsanje Lalanje constituency, unofficial results indicate that MCP candidate was leading while in Chikwembere Ward in Blantyre North constituency DPP candidate was leading.
However, poor turnout characterised voting in Chikwembere Ward, Blantyre, and Lalanje Ward in Nsanje District Tuesday, as polling centres struggled to attract voters while it was a different story in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency.
When Mec Chairperson Judge Chifundo Kachale visited some of the polling centres in Nsanje and Blantyre districts, he observed that turnout was low.
However, by 5pm, turnout was still less than 30 percent which presiding officers said would be desirable. This was the case in, for example Magoti, Banguka, Nkhadzi and Nyamitalala polling centres.
The story was not different in Chikwembere Ward,
At one centre, the rate of voter turnout was at 9.3 percent by 5pm, far below the 30 percent that Mec officials hoped would be reached.
“We registered 2,250 voters at our centre but, by 3pm, only 300 had cast their votes,” said one presiding officer.
However, voter turnout was not an issue in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency, as turnout was above average.
At Kalambwe Polling Centre, for example, where 1,700 people registered to vote, 1,500 had turned up by 5pm, with one hour of voting remaining.
Presiding officers said 30 percent was the average turnout mark in the constituency.