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We’ll contest polls under protest—MCP

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has written Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) that the party will participate in the scheduled by-elections in Lilongwe South Constituency and Matanje Ward in Kasungu albeit under protest.

Mec is expected to conduct the by-elections on November 5, 2019.

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The party’s Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka in a letter to Mec’s Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika, dated October 17, 2019, says the party’s participation is to ensure political rights of the people of having representation at both National Assembly and council.

He said the commission has lost public trust for its poor management of the previous elections.

“As you may be aware, the party’s torchbearer in the May 21 2019 presidential elections is in court challenging the results owing to the manner in which the commission managed the results. Under normal circumstance, the commission should have waited for conclusion of the court case…,” reads part of the letter

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In an interview, Mkaka stressed that despite participating under protest, the party will accept the results.

“All we want is Mec to know they are doing this despite trust being lost by important stakeholders,” he said

Mec Spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa confirmed receiving the letter and said the commission will respond directly to the party

“All stakeholders should be informed that by-elections are proceeding as planned. We are encouraging people in the two areas to come out in their large numbers and exercise their right to vote,” he said

Five candidates have submitted their nominations papers for the by-election in Lilongwe South Constituency.

The candidates include Frank Mazizi of Democratic Progressive Party, Samson Phinifolo of UTM, MCP’s Peter Dimba, independent candidate Patson Mthyoka and Julius Chongwe of Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy.

The elections in the area were postponed after UTM candidate Agnes Penemulungu died few weeks before May 21.

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