LILONGWE--Chairperson for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Justice Anastasia Msosa, SC has said it’s up to the parties to woo people to vote for them.
She was speaking at a press conference at around 11:30am when her body announced the official results following polls of Tuesday 09th October 2012 in Mzimba.
Independent Mabvuto Joseph Kachali won the Mzimba Central Constituency by-elections whilst the ruling Peoples Party (PP) candidate Raymond Chitima Nkhata has won in Mzimba South West, previously held by current Malawi Vice President Khumbo Kachali who vacated after his appointment to the second highest national office.
Joseph Kachali takes over from late Prof. Donton Mkandawire who represented was on the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) ticket.
There was only one complaint from the DDP alleging someone had ballot boxes but MEC investigations proved otherwise.
"The commission analyzed all complaints launched and can conclude that the vote was free and fair," she said, announcing Kachali who contested in the six man candidacy race was winner with 9,412 votes and Nkhata with 9,564 votes.
Msosa said there was about a 49.34% voter turn out in Mzimba central. 217 were null and avoid votes representing 1.3% in the central constituency and about 4 candidates, about 51.73% voter turn out with 232 null representing 1.34% for the south west constituency in Malawi's largest district.
She however bemoaned the fact that civil society organizations were absent to help monitor the entire elections.
"These were conspicuosly absent through the process save for the few seen at the polls. UNDP, British High Commission, and Human Rights Commission were however present and should be thanked for helping give credit to the polls," she said.
Msosa said the polls also provided a clear test for the new electoral commissioners and thanked them together with all stakeholders that helped monitor the by-elections for a successful process..
New lawmaker Nkhata was happy about his win.
"People have trust in me to work on development issues in the area. I thank God for my triumph. I had all the trust to win because God led me and I accepted it."
New Independent lawmaker Joseph Kachali also said it was tough playing against political heavyweihts who had set up camp in the area. He became independent after protesting in-party elections to contest on behalf of the Peoples Party.
"I thank my supporters for the triumph and for going through our winning strategy as agreed in the campaign process. I have only 15 months to do what I promised the people and I will continue from where late Prof. Donton Mkandawire stopped. With support from President Joyce Banda and by lobbying non-governmental organizations I know I will meet all the expected requirements into 2014," he said.
Msosa wished the winners well as failed candidates Aram Beza and Kandodo Mvula accepted defeat.
"I concede defeat. I wish Kachali all the best. As a new comer to politics have I have learned a lot and I have plans to contest in 2014," Mvula said.
Commissioner Reverend Emmanuel Chimkwita Phiri closed with a prayer saying Malawi must remain one nation despite political differences.
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