BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The number of aspiring presidential candidates for the May 21 Tripartite Elections has risen to 13, Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) says.

The latest to collect nomination forms are United Democratic Front candidate Atupele Muluzi, former vice president who is also leader of Tikonze People’s Movement Cassim Chilumpha, Democratic People’s Congress’ Chris Daza, Chimbuna Belekiah of United Independence Party and Ras Chikomeni David Chirwa who will contest on an independent ticket.

These have joined President Peter Mutharika, Democratic Progressive Party torch-bearer, Malawi Congress Party’s Lazarus Chakwera, People’s Party’s Joyce Banda, Saulos Chilima of UTM, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development, and independents Henry Mbewe, Smart Swira and Baxter Natulu.

IMec Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa told The Daily Times that aspirants need to fulfill all requirements before they are put on the ballot.

“It should be stated that just collecting a nomination paper does not make one a candidate. They need to fill it and submit back to the commission between February 4 and 8. Presidential candidates will submit their nomination paper to the Commission at the Comesa Hall in Blantyre while parliamentary and Local Government candidates will submit their nomination papers to their constituency returning officers to be stationed in the constituency,” Mwafulirwa said.

Mec says, in a statement released Wednesday, that all candidates who will represent political parties are collecting the nomination forms through respective partys secretaries-general, while independents are receiving through Mec’s Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika.

Independent candidates for parliamentary and local government elections are collecting nomination papers from district commissioners or chief executive officers of councils.

Mec further says submission of nomination papers will be from February 4 to 8.

“Parliamentary and Local Government elections candidates will submit their nomination papers to their respective constituency returning officers while presidential candidates will submit their nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission at the Chichiri International Conference Centre (Comesa) Hall,” reads a statement signed by Alfandika.

So far, the number of potential candidates has exceeded that of the previous election when 12 candidates contested.

Of those who have already collected nomination forms, Mutharika, Chakwera, Banda and Muluzi are the only ones who also contested in 2014.

Statistics and analysis show that most of those aspiring for the presidency do that out of show and only confuse voters as they always perform dismally.

For example in 2014, the difference between the top four candidates was 697, 864 votes. The bottom eight candidates amassed a combined total of 94, 844 votes while the number four candidate, Atupele Muluzi alone got 717, 224 votes.

The difference between the winner and the last candidate was 1, 896, 945 with Mutharika getting, 1,904, 399 votes against Chipani cha Pfuko’s Davis Katsonga who got 7,454 votes.

Some of the registered political parties in Malawi

African Nyasaland Party

Alliance for democracy (Aford)

Christian Democratic Party

Congress for National Unity

Congress of Democrats (Code)

Democratic People’s Congress (Depeco)

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)

Freedom Party

Labour Party

Leadership with Compassion (LCP)

Malavi People’s Party

Malawi Congress Party (MCP)

Malawi Democratic Union

Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde)

Malawi Freedom Party

Malawi National Democratic Party

Mtendere Ufulu Party

National Patriotic Front

National Salvation Front

National Solidarity Movement

National Unity Party

New Congress for Democracy

New Dawan for Africa Party

New Republican Party

New Vision Democracy Party (NVDP)

Nthanda Congress Party (NCP)

Pamodzi Freedom Party

People’s Democratic Party

People’s Party (PP)

People’s Popular Front

People’s Transformation Party

Rejoice Kingdom Party

Sapitwa National Democratic Party

The Congress for the Second Republic of Malawi

The Forum Party

The Malawi Democratic Party

The New Rainbow Coalition Party (NARC)

The Republican Party

Umodzi Party

United Democratic Front (UDF)

United Democratic Party (UDP)

United Front for Multi-party Democracy

UTM

United Transformation Party

NOTE: The list is not exhaustive while some of the parties are inactive

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