As the May 21 tripartite elections draw closer, the number of candidates vying for the country’s top post of presidency has now gone up to twenty.
Director of Media and Communications at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Sangwani Mwafulirwa has confirmed the development; saying this is as of Thursday, 24 January, 2019.
The development takes the number of independent candidates to seven and those belonging to political parties are now thirteen.
Again, the number of female candidates hoping to occupy the State House has now reached three with the coming in of Sally Kumwenda Yadwad of Leadership with Compassion Party and Florence Fulayi going on an independent ticket; who join People’s Party Leader and the country’s former president, Dr. Joyce Banda.
Rhodrick Makhambera, independent, Reverend D.H. Kaliya, independent, and Professor John Chisi of the Umodzi have also collected their nomination papers for the same post.
Last year, 12 candidates battled it out for the presidency but political analyst, George Phiri continues questioning if the country needs all these candidates.
He thinks those parties that only appear during elections period should do some soul searching on their relevance in Malawi’s politics.
The incumbent president, Peter Mutharika has been receiving pressure from the opposition and human rights defenders on his alleged laxity in dealing with the deteriorating state of governance in the country.
The condemnation has gone deeper with growing spates of violent acts that some believe are being fuel by members of his governing Democratic Progressive Party-DPP.
MEC will between 4-8 February, 2019 receive the nomination papers with the official campaign period expected to throw off on March 19.
The picture above shows a MEC officer helping an old man cast his vote in previous elections.