The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is ready to hold by-elections in Lilongwe South constituency after the commission announced that it had postponed them due to political violence.
MEC Chairperson, Jane Ansah, Thursday said the commission called for the Lilongwe Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) among others, to address issues from concerned parties and stakeholders before it announces a day for elections.
She said the decision to suspend the elections was arrived upon to protect lives as party supporters continued attacking each other, leading to serious injuries and loss of property.
“The commission was always on the ground monitoring the situation in the area working hand in hand with all stakeholders involved in the elections. Unfortunately, things got out of hand four days before the elections forcing the commission to suspend the elections in the area.
“It was so disappointing that there was no tolerance hence our decision. We are here today to listen to your concerns and commitment for a clean campaign so that it helps us map the way forward and be certain that there will be a free and fair election,” she said.
She said once the commission announces the date, they will be vigilant and any candidate found guilty of breaching the code of conduct will be shown the exit door.
Ansah said should all parties fail to abide by the elections code of conduct, MEC will not hesitate to continue putting the constituency on hold until they put the house in order.
District Commissioner (DC) for Lilongwe, Lawford Palani thanked MEC chairperson for the mediation saying the move will help mend the broken relationships in the constituency.
“As a council, we were so weighed down by the decision but at the same time it was the best move because lives were at stake and it wasn’t going to be any better had the commission decided to go ahead with the by-elections,” said Palani.
He urged all parties and stakeholders to hold hands and work towards a peaceful election as they wait to hear from MEC.
Candidate for Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peter Dimba commended MEC Chairperson for bringing them together to a round table to listen to their concern and map the way forward.
He said the decision MEC made affected him as he had already spent a lot on campaigning.
“I personally was so disappointed with the decision and I thought it will take the commission forever to hold the elections considering that the violence that erupted was so dirty and life threatening,” Dimba said. “I am so happy today that the body has quickly reconsidered us again and as a party we commit to a clean campaign and we hope that we will make it and go for a free and fair election.”
Democratic Progressive Party candidate, Frank Mazizi also promised a clean campaign.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :