Malawi Electoral Commission warns chiefs against aiding foreigners to vote

As the countdown to the by-elections scheduled for October 17 this year continues, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has strongly warned chiefs against aiding foreigners to take part in the voting process.

Mtafu : MEC wants credible elections

MEC Commissioner Eve Kalonga Mtafu issued the warning in Nsanje Lalanje on Monday where MEC was sensitizing locals on their roles towards the by-election which follows the passing-on of Sam Ganda who was the constituency’s legislator.

Mtafu said traditional leaders should guard against people from other constituencies and foreigners from partaking in the exercise.

“Only people who were not registered during the 2014 registration process should do so. And those that have lived in the country for more than seven years should register to vote,” advised Commissioner Mtafu.

She urged traditional leaders to convey the message to their subjects to ensure that free and fair by-elections are conducted.

Commissioner Mtafu further advised the local leaders to work hand in hand with MEC to ensure that the forth coming by-elections are done in a free and fair manner.

“Let me also take this opportunity to ask our local leaders to be apolitical by not siding with any aspirant. Every aspirant should be given an equal opportunity to sale his or her manifesto without fear and favour,” commissioner Mtafu urged.

On the issue of party monitors, Commissioner Mtafu said political parties should assign monitors who will be able to understand issues during the voting process but also the counting process.

According to the Commissioner, assigning credible monitors will make the process to be credible as their decisions will not be questionable.

“These people are very crucial in the process of free and fair by-elections, therefore, those to be assigned should be in a position to understand the process but also know what they are accepting or signing,” concluded Commissioner Mtafu.

Commenting on the same, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mbenje who was present during the sensitization appealed to the local leaders to handle the by-elections with the respect it deserves.

Apart from Nsanje Lalanje Constituency, the by elections budgeted at K679 million will also take place in four other constituencies across the country which fell vacant.

Nsanje Lalanje Constituency became vacant after the death of Sam Ganda on May 16 this year.

The official campaign period for the by-elections will start on September 13 and the official results are expected to be released by October 20, 2017.

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