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  • Christine Chumbler
    Malawi-Elections Eight Cabinet Ministers Lose Seats in Parliament Africa News Service 17-JUN-99 BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA, 06/17/99) - The Malawi Electoral
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 1999
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      Malawi-Elections Eight Cabinet
      Ministers Lose Seats in Parliament

      Africa News Service
      17-JUN-99

      BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA, 06/17/99) - The Malawi Electoral Commission
      has confirmed that at least eight cabinet ministers have lost their bids for the
      193-member Parliament as counting of ballots from Tuesday's polls continued
      Thursday.

      Exit polls show that all cabinet ministers who defected from the Alliance For
      Democracy (AFORD) to the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) have failed
      to retain their seats on the UDF ticket.

      These include Foreign Affair minsiter Mapopa Chipeta and Environmental
      Affairs minister, Fran Mayinga Mkandawire. Other former
      AFORD-turned-UDF ministers Melvin Moyo and Chend Mkandawire also lost
      their bids for parliament.

      Commerce and Industry minister, Matembo Mzunda, an academic who joined
      politics on AFORD ticket, switched his alligiance to the UDF but stood as an
      independent, also lost.

      The Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Rodwell Munyenyembe,
      veteran politician who held a number of ministerial positions in the 1970s under
      the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), also narrowly failed in his independent bid
      for parliament.

      Among the big casualties is Agriculture Minister Aleke Banda, a flamboyant
      politician who is also first vice president in the UDF. He lost his second bid for
      parliament after a gallant campaign.

      While all the ministers lost in the AFORD stronghold of the northern region,
      there were also colourful casualties in other areas.

      George Bundaunda Phiri, a youthful politician who quit the MCP and was
      rewarded with a cabinet position, lost his re-election bid in the central district of
      Nkhot Kota.

      Another notable central region casualty is Kamangadazi Chambalo, the transport
      minister, who lost his seat in the capital, Lilongwe, to the MCP.

      Politicians who have won seats in Parliament iclude Vice-President Justin
      Malewezi, still recuperating from a kidney transplant, who took the Ntchisi
      Constituency in the central region which he had lost in 1994.

      Another new face to be watched is Chakufwa Chihana, the AFORD strongman
      who was so confident he would win the presidency in 1994 that he gave up his
      Rumphi seat in the north to Mayinga Mkandawire. He beat his former blue-eyed
      boy clean this time.

      Official results were expected to be released by Thursday evening but the exit
      polls show President Bakili Muluzi had a clear edge over the opposition alliance
      while the alliance had an edge over the UDF in the parliamentary race.
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