With only a few weeks remaining before the launch of official campaign for May, 20 tripartite elections, District Commissioner for Chitipa has asked party district Governors and other stakeholders in the district to champion the cause of clean campaign as a way of curbing political violence.
The DC, Grace Chirwa who is also the Chairperson of the Multi-Party Liaison Committee (MPLC) was speaking last Sunday during the opening of a one day GIZ funded training that brought together district political party leaders, independent candidates and other stakeholders.
According to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) official campaign for May, 20, 2014 polls will start on March 21, 2014.
Chirwa said district governors as signatories to the yet to be launched district code of conduct, should lead by example by discouraging political violence besides encouraging intraparty dialogue to ensure swift dissolution of political conflicts at both district and constituency level.
“We are the ones to make tripartite elections free, fair and credible in this district, so let’s work together in making sure that our supporters are aware about the dangers of political violence,” said Chirwa.
She told the political party leaders to avoid mud-slinging and foul-mouthed system of campaign and ask them to concentrate on issue-based and clean campaign.
“We are one people and democracy give us the freedom to associate as such let’s level the playing field and observe togetherness towards tripartite elections,” Said the DC.
At the same meeting the MPLC members agreed to revamp the constituency committee that will be looking at political dispute that may arise at constituency level.
During the training one of the facilitator’s Franklin Mwalwanda told the participants that there is no conflict that cannot be resolved hence it is very important for the MPLC members to be imparted with conflict resolving techniques.
Mwalwanda said MPLC members concern should not be about conflict elimination but rather how to effectively manage the conflict when it arises in the district and that Disrespect of the district code of conduct by political leaders might be one of the many causes of the conflict during campaign period.
MPLC were established in 2000 by the Malawi Electoral commission with the object of preventing and resolving political and electoral related conflicts. It complies of political party representatives’ civil society and some government department representatives.
Nationwide MEC in consultation with all political parties and electoral stakeholders developed a Code of Conduct for Candidates and Political Parties during elections to act as guidelines of how to conduct campaign and some of the things which candidates or their followers should not do.
Recently during the presentation of nomination papers by presidential candidate MEC Chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera assured the nation that the Commission, on its part, is geared to deliver a free, fair and credible election to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
According to Mbendera MEC will continue to renew its pledge in working professionally, independently and with impartiality in the management tripartite elections.