Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has called on political parties to take ownership of the 2019 Elections by properly managing conflicts that may arise in the course of the electoral process in order to hold credible elections.
Commissioner Linda Kunje said this in Mzuzu on Monday at the open of a two-day training of Multiparty Liaison Committees on electoral conflict management.
“ I wish to reiterate the commitment of the Commission to deliver free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible 2019 Tripartite Elections. The Commission believes that in order to achieve this, notable, goal, stakeholders must play their rightful role, elections are everybody’s responsibility,” said Kunje.
Kunje said that conflict management tactics would enable the political parties to manage some of the conflicts rather than perpetrating by misleading social media messages which could jeopardize attainment of a credible elections.
“As a Commission we realize the importance of engaging every stakeholder especially in this period where we know there is a lot of rumours and gossips flying around all over social media. So to allay all these conflicts we needed to empower the MPLCs on conflict management,” said Kunje.
A trainee from Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Gracious Soko who is MCP’s Regional Chairman for North South Region said that the training would contribute to renewing the suspicious mindset that political parties hold towards MEC.
“Whatever has been taught in the training will help the party and all who participated. Maybe it will go a long way in changing the mindset that is there on MEC as the body that manages elections in the Country ,” Soko said.
Soko, however, called on MEC to be responsive to the concerns being raised by political parties on the electoral process.
With funding from development partners; United Nations Development Fund and others through the basket fund, the training brought together three MPLCs with members from the entire Mzimba District. MEC also handed the MPLC members guidelines on conflict management.
MEC formed the Multi-Party Liaison Committees in 2000 to assist in resolving inter-party conflicts and to promote ethical conduct and of political parties in Malawi at the district level. The MPLC composition includes; the District Commissioner or Chief Executive Officer, district governors of parties , traditional authorities, MEC representatives and Malawi Police Service among others.