BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has rejected governing Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) request to withdraw the parliamentary candidature of Henry Mumba of Mzimba-Hora Constituency.

MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa told the Daily Times that according to the country’s electoral laws, a party cannot withdraw a candidate’s name.

DPP secretary general (GS), Grezelder Jeffrey, had written Mec, saying the decision to withdraw Mumba’s name was due to circumstances beyond the party’s control.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we, hereby, write to advise your good offices about withdrawal of candidate Henry Mumba who had submitted his nomination papers on February 6 2019 to contest on the DPP ticket. Kindly act accordingly on this instruction,” the letter reads.

Jeffrey was not readily available for a comment yesterday on the reasons behind the party’s decision.

DPP spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, Sunday said he needed more time before commenting on the matter.

DPP Northern Region governor, Kenneth Sanga, referred The Daily Times to the party’s legal adviser Charles Mhango, saying issues of candidates are centralised.

“The party centralised the issue of candidates and that is why even our primaries were managed at central level,” Sanga said.

But Mhango said he could not comment on the matter since he did not write Mec.

Meanwhile, Mec has said any person’s candidature can only be withdrawn when the candidate informs them in writing.

“The procedure is that the candidate should inform us in writing. Even if the candidate withdraws or leaves a party, the party cannot feature a replacement. There is no nomination by substitution,” Mwafulirwa said.

Mumba said he was not aware of the development, saying he remains DPP’s torchbearer for the constituency.

There has been a long standing dispute between Mumba and incumbent Member of Parliament (MP), Christopher Mzomera-Ngwira, who was declared bankrupt by the court, thereby, making him ineligible to contest for public office.

Last week, Jeffrey told the media that Ngwira would be replaced alongside Joe Nyirongo who was aspiring councillor for Chibanja Ward in Mzuzu.

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