Three candidates in the next Tuesday’s court-sanctioned fresh presidential elections have been asked accept the results even if they have not gone their way and prepare their supporters on the same.
Political commentator Humphrey Mvula said political parties should urge their supporters to accept the outcome of the vote, saying there is only one winner in an election.
He said both President Peter Mutharika and his maina challenger Lazarus Chakwera should realise that they hold the fate of the nation in their hands. Whatever they will tell their supporters after the results will determine the country’s future.
“They [political parties] have got to appeal to their supporters to accept the outcome of the election because any party can lose and any side can win,” said Mvula.
Historically, the country has held elections in which losers have congratulated the winner and in doing so, peace has continued to reign.
In 1994 the late president Hastings Kamuzu Banda who led MCP sent a congratulatory message to Bakili Muluzi of UDF even before vote counting was over.
In 2009 Muluzi, then a bitter enemy to the late Bingu wa Mutharika who ditched UDF in 2005 to form his DPP, supported MCP’s John Tembo at the polls. But, ironically, Muluzi was the first to call Bingu to congratulate him on his victory. He even attended his swearing in ceremony at Kamuzu Stadium.
In 2014 Joyce Banda who stood on People’s Party (PP) when it was declared she lost to Peter Mutharika, despite noting that the elections were marred by irregularities, still accepted defeat.
The country goes to poll to elect a new president and vice president in a fresh election as ordered by the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court on February 3 this year; a ruling which the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal (MSCA) upheld last month.
At least 6.8 million are expected to cast their votes.