Level playing field during primaries, Evangelical Association advises Malawi parties

Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), an umbrella body for over 25 faith based institutions has asked political parties competing in next year’s tripartite elections to make sure that they do not show any bias towards some candidates so that they go to the polls while united.

The call comes at a time when some parties have started conducting primary elections while some are yet to conduct the elections in various constituencies and wards.

EAM’s regional programmes coordinator for the north, Robert Tauka made the call recently in Nkhata-Bay district when his organisation drilled various political parties and faith based institutions in various aspects during elections time.

“Let all candidates competing for various positions during intra-party elections (primaries) to be accorded an equal playing field without giving any bias to some candidates over the other. This will ensure that the party goes to the polls while united since candidates will support each other when they know that the playing field was level during elections,” said Tauka.vote ballot

He  explained that when  candidates has lost primary elections where the playing field was level, they do not have grudges against the other and the party hence they work together with the winner to make sure that they triumph during  the actual elections.

“The importance of levelling a political playing field is that both the winning and losing candidate accept the results of the primaries hence they work together without dividing votes. In this way the party has many chances of winning in the elections since they go to the polls while united.

But when you have not levelled the playing field, it is when you notice many independent candidates emerging since they do not feel convinced with the results of primary elections. This then creates problems since the party votes are split among candidates,” clarified Tauka.

The EAM’s regional coordinator further advised political party gurus at various levels to make sure that they tell their leaders the truth with regard   political party situation on the ground

“Many times party gurus tend to feed leaders with wrong information. This is bad since when you have fed those leaders with wrong information, they tend to have a picture that all is rosy while on the actual ground, it is not well

I ask all party gurus to tell leaders the truth since its only when leaders have truthful information when they can tackle real issues that affect people not feeding them with wrong information just to please them,” Tauka explained.

At the function, it was also agreed that political parties should strive to make sure that peace among different political parties reigns during campaign and elections period.

Peoples Party district governor James Thawi said sometimes political parties should make sure that they all let people choose candidates that they wan without being imposed on them

“Sometimes its political parties that encourage party split up since some parties tend to lean to some candidates giving the other candidates an unfair disadvantage. If we let people choose their preferred candidates, we will reduce intra party conflicts,” concluded Thawi.

Among these, the meeting was attended by representatives from the country’s four major parties, Malawi Congress Party, Peoples Party, Democratic Progressive Party and United Democratic Front. Religious leaders from various faiths also attended.

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