The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Wednesday launched by-elections in the two vacant constituencies in Mzimba district which will separate men from boys.
The Mzimba Central constituency which fell vacant after the death of Professor Donton Mkandawire in December last year while the Mzimba South West constituency became vacant following the ascendance to the Vice Presidency by its Parliamentarian Khumbo Kachali.
The D-day is October 9 and the main battle will be between the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the incumbent government of People’s Party (PP).
The DPP has vowed to come back in governmeent in 2014 and this will be one of the chances to prove their prowess.
The DPP got out of government not through the ballot but due to the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika who was also the party’s torch bearer. The People’s Party is in government after the demise of Mutharika following a constitution order that ushered to power the current President Mrs. Joyce Banda to the Presidency because she was the State Vice President then.
MEC has announced that registration of voters will start on 13th and end on 17th August, 2012 but transfers will not be allowed. The registration would give an opportunity to those who did not register in the past exercises and the ones who have now turned18.
Aspiring contestants have been asked to engage monitors who are able to read and write to ensure that all electoral procedures are followed and done in a transparent manner.
The Electoral body will conduct civic and voter education in conjunction with the National Initiative for Civic Education, the Church and Society Programme of the Livingstonia CCAP Synod, the Mbaweni Women Group and Malawi Carer.
Though there may be cases of early campaigning, the official campaign period is from 6th September to 7th October 2012.
The presentation of nomination forms to the Returning Officer will be on 31st August, 2012 and candidates will have to cough a whooping K100, 000 to MEC as nomination fees.
The winner is expected to be announced on October 10 2012. There then will people know which party between the two is liked in the two constituencies.
This will be the first by election after the change of power.
DPP is under the leadrship of professor Peter Mutharika, yopunger brother of late BIngu whhile the PP is spearheaded by Mrs. Joyce Banda.