LILONGWE, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Three Independents and ten political party leaders, including President Peter Mutharika, Vice President Saulos Chilima and Former President Joyce Banda (JB), have collected nomination papers ahead of the May 21 elections, according to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the main opposition party, Lazarus Chakwera also have shown interest in contesting for the presidency, according to Mwafulirwa.
Until Chilima launched the United Transformation Movement in July 2018, Chakwera remained Mutharika's key opposition contender. The vice president, however, seems likely to win votes from Mutharika and Chakwera, who came first and second respectively in May 2014 as 12 candidates contested for the presidency.
Since Mutharika rose to power under the Democratic Progressive Party, he has been working with Leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Muluzi, who is the son to Malawi's first democratic president Bakili Muluzi and has served in various ministerial positions, hinting at a possible coalition.
However, Atupele Muluzi recently said he would contest on the ticket of the UDF, which remains a force to reckon with in the eastern region.
Among the four major candidates, namely Mutharika, Chakwera, JB and Chilima, only the MCP leader has picked a running mate, Sidik Mia, a veteran and influential politician from the south.