Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Dr. Jane Ansar has said mishandled elections have potential to bring chaos and conflicts in a country.
The MEC chairperson said this in Lilongwe during the launch of 2019 tripartite elections calendar under the theme: ‘Consolidating Malawi Democracy through the Ballot.’
She described elections as a security issue and observed that the country has experienced peace and stability since 1994 because of tolerance between winners and losers despite some brinks in the elections.
“Elections are a security issue. One mishandled election can degenerate into chaos and strife in a country,” she said.
Ansar said MEC was ready to create an environment for free, fair, cost- effective and credible elections, therefore pleaded for support from all stakeholders.
“Peace is very important in these elections, so everybody should go and vote without fear. We will carry our duty with independence and impartiality and will take decisions without taking orders from any person,” she said.”
The MEC chairperson observed that since elections on their own are a fertile ground for conflict, her institution has been strengthening Multiparty Liaison Committees (MPLC) to mitigate election-related conflicts.
She also singled out as a mile stone the review of the Media Code of Conduct and its distribution to media houses to prevent irresponsible reporting during the 2019 tripartite elections.
However, Chairperson for Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD), Kandi Padambo, said according to their media monitoring report data on the public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation, it was revealed it covered the then ruling party at the rate of 92.1 per cent during previous elections at the peril of the opposition parties.
Padambo also called on the law enforcers to discharge their duties diligently and in a nonpartisan manner in the coming elections.
He however, bemoaned the conduct of some traditional leaders who alter statements that may cause conflict and create unfavorable environment for some candidates.
At the launch function, the clergy prayed for peace and calm during the coming and much anticipated 2019 elections.
The delegates to the launch included cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament, government officials, civil society organization leaders, religious leaders and political party representatives among others.
According to MEC calendar of activities, registration of voters will start on 24th May and end on 30th August, 2018. Malawians will vote for the President, Member of Parliament and councilor on 21ST May 2019.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :