Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has bemoaned the laxity on social distancing among Malawians attending political rallies across the country ahead of fresh presidential election.
She made the observation in Mangochi on Wednesday during the National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) meeting when she, among other things updated elections stakeholders on the Commission’s preparations for the fresh presidential election.
The MEC Chairperson said the Commission had always taken Covid-19 seriously and that MEC had always insisted that preventive measures should be observed at all cost in all electoral processes.
“As MEC, we have got enough Covid-19 preventive materials for our staff; out there it’s the responsibility of leaders of political parties to ensure that social distancing is observed,” Ansah said.
She continued: “That was why during my televised speech on May 2, 2020 marking the official launch of campaign period, I emphasized that candidates should find innovative ways of reaching out to the electorate due to the global pandemic.”
The MEC Chairperson bemoaned what she termed as “staged political conflicts” among the contesting parties as observed during the just ended Phase II voters’ registration period.
Ansah said the Commission received complaints from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), among others, on the registration of under-aged but the MEC Chairperson said the Commission suspected that some of the conflicts were staged.
“These acts of dirtying the water upstream and quickly run downstream to feign surprise as to why the water is dirty should not be tolerated,” said Ansah, adding: “Let’s be serious and have civilized election osati za umbvundula madzi ayi.”
During the NECOF meeting other stakeholders such as National Registration Bureau (NRB), Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) made presentations on their role in the election.