As the election fever continues to grow, the Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC has said the official campaign period for the 20 May Tripartite Elections will start on March 21 this year.
MEC Chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera made the announcement in Blantyre on Monday when receiving nomination papers from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Presidential Candidate Professor Peter Mutharika and his United Independent Party-UIP Counterpart Hellen Singh.
Justice Mbendera said the official campaign period which is for two months will end exactly 48 hours to the polling day on May 20.
The commission’s Chairperson therefore urged all political parties in the country to avoid mud-slinging campaign ahead of the tripartite elections.
He said: “Malawians are now tired of a mud-slinging electioneering and for a change it’s a high time our political parties in the country start practicing issue based politics”.
‘’This time around people in the country want a civilized campaign and therefore we expect all the political parties to adhere to a code of conduct which they signed so that we can have free, fair and credible elections in May,” added Justice Mbendera.
The MEC Chairperson also added that the commission consulted on the issue regarding Mutharika’s Green Card before receiving the nomination papers from the DDP Presidential candidate.
‘’ For the record let me address the issue of the green card though is no longer an issue in these elections, the commission sought an independent legal advice from three distinguished legal practioners, we consulted the attorney general and two other prominent lawyers who advised us not to bar any candidate holding a green card” said Mbendera.
‘’The decisions by MEC on any issue are not made capriciously, we do not make decisions actuated by malice or affinity, our decisions are solely based on law and legal precedents’’ he added
The MEC Chairperson’s remarks clear the mist surrounding the issue of the Green Card which Mutharika withdrew to pave way for his candidature in the May 20 tripartite elections.