01 November 2017

Malawi By-Elections RESULTS

On October 17th Malawians went to the polls to vote in Parliamentary by-elections for three constituencies, while local government elections were held in some wards in Lilongwe, Dedza, and Blantyre. The by-elections for parliamentary seats took place in Lilongwe Msozi North Constinuency, Lilongwe City South East Constinuency, and in Mtsiliza Ward while Residents of Mayani North Ward in Dedza and Ndirande Makata in Blantyre also took to the polls to vote for new councilors.

Unofficial results were announced on the same day indicating that the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) scooped 5 out of the 6 vacant seats. This was later confirmed through official results announced and declared by the Malawi Electoral Commission on Wednesday, October 18th. Here is how Malawians voted:

Lawrence Mark Sitolo - MCP (8775)
Gladys Ganda - DPP (5463)
Winnie Wakudyanaye- Independent (195)

Ulemu Msungama -MCP (6722)
Dr. Reuben Ngwenya - DPP (3597)
Christopher Joseph Manja - Independent (891)
Ellen Shabani - Independent (311)

Thom Litchowa - MCP (969)
Thom Lita - DPP (910)
Mathews Shawa - PP (363)
Ishmael Chilambo- UDF (363)

Benson William Lameck - MCP (1690)
Nicholas Fackson Josiya- DPP (2390)
Everister Ndaziona Kusina- UDF (200)

Sosten Gwengwe- MCP (10015)
Bruno Daka - DPP (2559)

Frank Zikaola - MCP (921)
Julio Jumbe - DPP (826)
UDF (169)

A brief background of the two competing parties

The Malawi Congress Party was formed in 1959 by Aleke Banda and Orton Chirwa. It succeeded Nyasaland African Congress party- a political party formed under the British rule. The MCP, under Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, presided over Malawian independence in 1964 and from 1966 to 1993, was the only prominent party in the country. Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda served as President for 28 years but the MCP eventually lost its monopoly on power in 1993 and was defeated   after Malawi’s ’s first  multi-party elections the . The current President of the MCP is Dr. Lazarus Chakwera whom ran for the Presidential seat in 2014.

The Democratic Progressive Party is the ruling party in Malawi and was formed in 2005 by Bingu wa Mutharika. It is an offshoot of a political party called the United Democratic Front (UDF), which was the ruling party in 1994, then formed by Bingu Mutharika and Bakili Muluzi. After Muluzi served two terms, Mutharika succeeded him as head of the party and eventually as president of Malawi. Mutharika proceeded to form his own party, the DPP, and won ithe 2009 Presidential elections with Joyce Banda as his Vice President. Unfortunately, Mutharika died in 2012 and then Vice President, Joyce Banda succeeded him as President, making her Malawi’s first female President.

Due to internal wrangles within the party, Joyce Banda left DPP and formed her own political party called The People’s Party where she served as President until 2014, when she was defeated by Bingu wa Mutharika’s brother, Arthur Peter Mutharika, in the 2014 general elections in Malawi. Malawi will go to the polls in 2019 to elect a new President for a 5 year term. The results of the recent by-elections has citizens wondering if the tone has been set for the upcoming elections. Will the two parties battle it closely or will the winning margins be wide. We will be watching as Malawi votes in 2019.


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