Anna Kachikho pulls out of race leaving DPP with no candidate

Main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentary candidate for Phalombe north has pulled out of the race.

But Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Chifundo Kachale has not given reasons why Anna Kachikho has withdrawn from the race.

Kachale, speaking at a new conference in Lilongwe, also said Patrick Million, an independent candidate for the same constituency has also made withdrawn from the parliamentary race.

Anna Kachikho

He said their nomination fees have been forfeited and constituents will be notified of the withdrawal.

Kachale , a High Court judge reminded all electoral stakeholders, political parties

and the electorate that it is an offence to force, induce or influence a candidate to withdraw from an election.

He said: “Section 46 (5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act says that a withdrawal of a candidate must be voluntary and must be under oath sworn by the candidate before a commissioner for oaths. As we go into these by-elections let everyone be aware of these provisions and avoid contravening them.”

The contest will be  between two independent candidates  Mavuto Bokosi,  Ms Promise Salima as well as  UTM Party candidate Justin Samuel Mokowa and  Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate  Esther Wadi Kazembe .

The head of the electoral body has also announced that by-elections in three other remaining  constituencies will be on December 15, 2020.

According to Kachale, Mangochi west Constituency has 27, 190 registered voters while Mangochi North East has 31, 501 registered voters and Phalombe North has 28, 670 registered.

He says, only those who registered in the last year’s election will be allowed to vote as per the court ruling.

Kachale has also called on political parties and voters to observe Covid19 measures during the polling day.