Pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has postponed the Lilongwe south constituency by-election slated for November 5 due to what officials say rising incidents of pre-poll violence.
MEC’s chief elections officer Sam Alufandika however says the local government by-election will still go ahead on November 5.
In a letter, Alufandika says at a meeting today (Tuesday), the commission was concerned with the growing insecurity and threats to MEC commissioners and staff deployed to work in the constituency and supporters of various political parties as well as candidates.
“The commission has, therefore resolved to postpone the by-election in Lilongwe south constituency until further notice.
“This is to safeguard life and property of the people of the constituency and also MEC,” says the letter.
Main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is engaged in running battles with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the battle for the parliamentary seat turned ugly.
UTM withdrew from the parliamentary race in the area owing to the credibility of MEC following the highly disputed May 21 elections whose results the party and the MCP are contesting in court.
Alufandika says the commission will engage the leadership of contesting candidates and be monitoring the situation on the ground.
“The commission has tried to quell the situation through convening multiparty liaison committee meeting on October 25, 2019 after complaints of intimidation and violence had been filed.
“During the meeting, all leaders pledged to stick to the code of conduct for political parties and candidates or risk disqualification. However, the situation has not improved,” says the letter.
The letter says on October 27, the commission received reports from various stakeholders that some people were assaulted and their houses and property burnt and looted.
He said the matter is now being handled by the police.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :