The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Tuesday embarked on a process of meeting and engaging political party leaders ahead of next year’s elections and the process started with meeting President Peter Mutharika at State House in Lilongwe and former President and leader of the People’s Party, Joyce Banda at her Area 43 residence.
Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika confirmed the development at Linde Motel at Mponela in Dowa on Wednesday during the national faith leaders conference on governance consolidation and women in politics organised by Act Alliance.
According to Alfandika, the commission is expected to also meet leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presudent Lazarus Chakwera before meeting Vice-President Saulosi Chilima, who is also leader of the new political block in the county, UTM.
He also said the commision will also meet leaders of all political parties in the country in a quest to lobby for abrogation of hate speech as a way of trying to achieve equitable, fair, transparent and accessible elections.
“We are engaging all political party leaders, we want them to promote unity in the country by encouraging political tolerance,” Alfandika said.
Political violence looks eminent ahead of the fourthcoming elections if recent cases are anything to go by and Alfandika said it is sad that most violent acts are perpetrated by political leaders.
“We are asking you religious leaders to avoid being partisan and try as much as possible to be neutral,” he said.
In his key note speech, general secretary for Malawi Council of Churches Bishop Gilford Matonga stressed the need for the free and fair elections.
Matonga said women can manage to win different positions during the forthcoming general elections and they should be given opportunities on political positions.
He urged women to have self confidence and be able to speak.
In her remarks, Reverend Agnes Nyirenda of Livingstonia Synod’s Area 23 Church, commended the organizing coommittee of this year’s women in politics conference saying it will help to drum up support for women candidates.
She said although the meeting is long overdue, it still is important. She said women are also being sidelined even in churches.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :