An online petition advocating for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to publish party/candidates manifestos to be published on MEC website has gone viral on social media lobbying for endorsements from stakeholders.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, petitioner and concerned citizen Michael Chiphwanya called on MEC to improve on transparency and accountability ahead of May 21 tripartite elections., saying electoral process is instituted for the people to exercise their rights to democracy.
“A manifesto is not only a campaign material but a public declaration of policy of which we are demanding the only official electoral body in the land to give us access to information.
“We need reforms so that these politicians should stop taking advantage of our ignorance and the masses should be aware of the true political landscape. We can’t be voting off of media hype,” he added.
Chiphwanya said it has been a common trend for politicians to leverage “limited understanding to drive their agenda.”
When contacted, MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa expressed ignorance on the said petition.
However, Mwafulirwa said the challenge could be that some of the contestants in the past had no manifestos.
“The commission can give direction when approached. In the past, we have distributed manifestos and campaign literature to prisoners only.
“It should be put on record that having a written down manifesto is not an eligibility criteria for a person or political party to contest elections. The parties and candidates are free to choose their own style of campaign,” Mwafulirwa stressed.
To sign the petition follow the link http://chng.it/BttTY9nrFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :