Malawi Electoral Commission – MEC has announced that it will conduct by election in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency, Lalanje Ward in Nsanje and Chikwembere Ward in Blantyre on 29 June, 2021.
Announcing the development through its calendar of events, MEC said it will launch the by elections on May 22 this year and then officially open a campaign period that will run from 24 May to 27 June.
Speaking on the same, MEC’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said the inspection of voters register will be done from 26 May to 8 June, 2021 adding that no new voters will be allowed to vote but only those who registered during the 2019 tripartite elections.
“The candidates that contested in 2019 will be the same as to contest this time around and they cannot change affiliation. If the candidate opts to withdraw from the process, it means the party will go into the election without a candidate because the laws do not allow for nomination by substitution,” expressed Mwafulirwa.
The by elections in Nkhata Bay Central Constituency follows the nullification of the results of the same by the Supreme Court of Appeal after the People’s Party (PP) candidate, Ralph Mhone, challenged, through the High Court, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, Simon Vuwa Kaunda’s victory during the 2019 polls.
Recently, the two Tonse administration allies; Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM revealed that they will not field any candidate during the polls in the constituency, but rather rally behind Mhone whose political party is also a partner in the Malawi’s power sharing government.
While painting a picture on his readiness for the polls, Mhone said he is geared to battle it out in the polls; banking his hope on the support from the currently ruling major political parties. On his part, DPP’s Simon Vuwa Kaunda has said he is only waiting for the day of the polls to prove his substance again.
During the 2019 polls, Kaunda led by 6,515 votes while Mhone trailed narrowly with 6,507 votes.