BLANTYRE, Malawi, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A total of 10 candidates, including incumbent president Peter Mutharika, are contesting in the May 21 presidential elections in Malawi.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) opened doors for presidential, parliamentary and local government aspirants across the country to present their nomination papers from Monday to Friday.
Among the key contestants are the incumbent, Mutharika, on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket, main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) with Lazarus Chakwera, and Mutharika's Vice President Saulos Chilima with his United Transformation Party (UTM).
Mutharika's cabinet minister Atupele Muluzi (former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi's son) and leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF), and former president Joyce Banda with her People's Party (PP) also form other contestants to reckon with among the ten.
"Out of the 10 presidential candidates who have had their nomination papers accepted by MEC for the time being, there's only one independent candidate while the rest are political party leaders," said MEC Chairperson Jane Ansah.
President Mutharika was the last to present his nomination papers on Friday afternoon alongside his running mate, Everton Chimulirenji, currently a cabinet minister and DPP's Director of Campaign.
On the other hand, opposition MCP leader Chakwera, was the first to present his nomination papers on Monday alongside his running mate, Sidik Mia, a known business magnate and politician.
In 2014 polls, 12 candidates vied for the presidency, including opposition MCP leader Chakwera, PP leader and incumbent president then, Joyce Banda, and the now incumbent, Mutharika, on DPP ticket. Mutharika emerged winner, followed by Chakwera and Banda on positions two and three, respectively.