The Malawi Electoral Commission has hinted on the need for political parties and stakeholders to take a decisive action to encourage more women, youth and persons with disabilities to stand as candidates in elections.
MEC Chairman Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale made the plea in Lilongwe during the announcement of official results for Tuesday`s by-elections.
According to Dr. Kachale, there were a total of 49 candidates in all the areas of which only 9 were women and no youth and persons with disabilities participated in the by-elections as candidates.
“For these by-elections there were 49 candidates in all the areas of which only nine were women. There were 30 men contesting in parliamentary elections against nine women, this represents 18% only of the contestants.
There were nine men and no woman contesting in Local Government Election. There were no youths and persons with disabilities participating in the by-elections as candidates. On the contrary the Commission continues to encounter more women registering and showing up for voting than men,” stressed Kachale.
Meanwhile, UTM Party has expressed satisfaction with how the Party has performed in the by-elections having secured one Member of Parliament for Karonga North West Constituency.
“UTM is very happy, in fact one bird in hand is worthy than 2, 000 birds in the bush, so at this time as UTM we are very happy,” said Kawaga.
Dr. Elias Chakwera, Director of Elections for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) said the party will continue strategising despite having majority of winners in the by-elections.
“We are always about thinking about how to do better in elections, and even now with a win in the four areas we shall be meeting to do a postmortem and draw lessons for the future, that how we are working as MCP,” said Chakwera.
Dr Kachale has since reiterated that the Commission has always maintained a 50% discount on nomination fees for women and persons with disabilities and 75% for the youth as an incentive for them to participate in elections as candidates.