Addressing intra-party violence key to holding  peaceful Malawi’s 2019 polls – CMD

Concerned with growing intra party tensions and violence in Malawi’s political parties ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) in partnership with International Republican Institute (IRI), a governance think tank based in United States of American (USA), will engage senior party officials in an election management workshop beginning Tuesday in Lilongwe.

Mpesi: Peaceful polls needed

Intra party tensions and violence are currently prevalent in Malawi as various political parties are agitating to hold primary elections in preparation for the incoming polls.

In the ongoing primaries for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), some aspirants have disputed the results, leading to crashes between senior party officials and supporters in some places.
Political analyst and Programs Manager at CMD Andrew Mpesi says electoral stakeholders should squarely deal with these issues if the 2019 elections are to be peaceful.

“Violence between political parties is too minimal now, maybe we would see much of it very close to the actual elections. The biggest problem we have at the moment is violence within parties. We need to address this for it is not healthy to our democracy and elections,” observed Mpesi.

He added that more engagement meetings with political parties on these matters are necessary because the parties are actually the backbone of the electoral process.

CMD is a platform of five political parties that have representation in Malawi’s National Assembly and three others outside the house.

It aims at promoting intra and inter party democracy.

According to Mpesi, Tuesday’s workshop will draw together secretaries general, directors of elections, campaign, women and youth of those parties with membership to CMD.

He said, “We want these senior officials to discuss how the incoming elections can best be managed with regard to the proactive involvement of their youths in the entire process. We have seen party youths being abused as agents of violence and terror. We wish this would not continue”.

Mpesi added that the workshop is very important to the political parties as it involves high calibre facilitators with practical expertise to enable the parties function in a manner that generates positive results.

“Political parties contribute a lot to the consolidation of democracy by, among others, managing government. They, therefore, ought to be well institutionalized entities, operating using set procedures,” he concluded.

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