Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has launched by-elections to be held on 26th October 2021 in Mzimba East Constituency, Nkhotakota North East Constituency, Dedza Central East Constituency and Chimwalire Ward in Balaka South Constituency.
The three constituencies and ward fell vacant due to the deaths of their Members of Parliament and ward councillor who were duly elected in the 2019 elections.
Chairperson of MEC, Justice Chifundo Kachale launched the by-elections with an appeal to political parties to take deliberate measures to provide women with opportunities to contest as candidates.
“If we allow more women to contest in by-elections we can improve on the statistics which currently are showing less women in Parliament and Local Councils."
Justice Kachale also extended the special appeal to people with disabilities and the youth. “They should be encouraged and supported to contest in the elections."
On the issue of COVID-19, the Chairperson explained they fully understand they will be conducting these by-elections when the world is talking of the pandemic which is sadly ravaging most parts of the world, Malawi inclusive.
He pointed out they have put in place measures to ensure that everyone is protected while participating in activities for the by-elections.
This comes at a time when then Presidential Task Force has come under fire for revising the levels of response to level one saying they want to allow the by-elections.
Civil Society Organisations have bemoaned lack of social distancing at political rallies while football and other gatherings like drinking places are still being held to account to observe time of closure and number of people at one place.
The official campaign period shall start on 25th September, 2021. As per requirement of the law, campaign shall end at 06.00AM on 24th October 2021.
The main tally centre will be in Lilongwe and the Commission is expected to announce the results by 27th October 2021.