Forum piles pressure on Malawi Electoral Commission

Forum for National Development (FND) has given Malawians seven days  to closely monitor the activities of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and make a conclusive position on whether the current leadership of the electoral body is going to deliver credible, free, fair and acceptable elections on May 20.

FND National Coordinator Fryson Chodzi said Sunday in Blantyre that the commission has been saying they are ready for elections, yet the evidence on the ground is showing to the contrary.

“Should the analysis continue to indicate otherwise, Malawians have a duty to play to ensure that changes are effected to bring integrity into the elections,” he said.

Chonzi (right) and Kampaundi addressing journalists
Chonzi (right) and Kampaundi addressing journalists

He added that it was not the first time for Malawi to have elections, saying election is a cycle and a process of which the people who are independently entrusted to manage the electoral process are supposed to diligently manage the elections.

Chodzi further said their opinion as FND is that the current MEC leadership is not doing enough to ensure that the elections would be credible, free, fair and acceptable by all stakeholders.

“We are not even surprised that other sectors are calling for the postponement of the elections. It should be noted however, that every organization hinges on the ability of its leadership to manage the affairs of the organization, therefore any failure on commission speaks volumes of the leadership ability to manage the elections,” he said.

He said elections responsibility is not only for the government, but each and every peace loving Malawian including the opposition parties because elections processes if not properly handled breeds violence.

Similar situations have been seen in countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe among others, he said.

However, FND Chairperson Bright Kampaundi pointed out the challenges MEC is facing which brings suspicion of having free, fair and credible forthcoming elections.

“There have been several issues that have rocked this election process which were not synonymous with previous elections,” he said.

The challenges include registration process which was marred with irregularities including early closure, lack of materials and complaints that other potential would be voters were denied the opportunity to register, Loss of hard disc, suspension of voter verification.

In addition,  MEC has been creating unnecessary anxiety in the people especially from opposition parties on how small issues like receiving containers from Zimbabwe which had tents and lanterns. MEC made a public announcement on opening these containers at a given time and invited witnesses to ceremony, but only to open at a very different time and days.

He therefore urged all Malawians regardless of political divide take a keen interest on these matters and ensure that MEC delivers free, fair and acceptable 20 May Tripartite elections.

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