MEC threatens to deal with Chiefs endorsing candidates

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has seriously condemned the behaviour of some traditional leaders  who are reportedly endorsing their preferred candidates ahead of 21st May, 2019 tripartite elections.

The chief elections officer Sam Alfandika: Chiefs are not allowed to be partisan

The electoral body emphasizes that ‘this behavior is unacceptable and unlawful’.

A statement relased by the commission on Tuesday 12th May 2019 made available to Nyasa Times reminds Chiefs that as much as they are entitled to exercise their political rights just like any other citizen, but such rights accrue to the
chiefs as individuals and private citizens.

“In their capacity as traditional leaders, Chiefs are not allowed to be partisan and should, therefore, not affiliate themselves to political parties or  candidates with the intention of influencing their subjects’ political  choices,” reads part of the statement signed by Chief Elections Officer Sam Alufandika.

The Commission has since consequently written the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to strongly advise all Chiefs in the country to desist the conduct condemned above.

“This conduct is blatant violation of the Chiefs’ Code of Conduct during elections and is a violation of the law that governs elections. All Chiefs are also hereby informed that in accordance with section 58 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, every public  officer or entity or authority has a duty to give and to be seen to give
equal treatment to all political parties and candidates to enable each political party and candidates to conduct campaign freely,” the statement reads.

Section 115 (b) (iv) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act, it is an offence  punishable by a fine of K500,000.00 and to imprisonment for two years for any person who denies any political party or candidate equal treatment with any other political party or candidate.

“It is, therefore, the expectation of the Commission that during the period towards the campaign and during the official campaign period itself, Chiefs will refrain from endorsing candidates, otherwise the Commission will be compelled to treat such conduct as an  offence warranting prosecution ,” warns the statement.

The Commission therefore said it expects that once official campaign  commences, Chiefs will not hinder campaign activities of any  candidate or political party in their respective areas.

“Chiefs are reminded that all political parties and candidates have the right to campaign in an election and that the authority to coordinate campaign meetings in public places is vested in District 3 Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers in conjunction with the Officers-In-Charge of Police at District and City Council level,”the statement said.

According to the Republic of Malawi and Electoral Laws, Chiefs do not have the power to deny any candidate or political party the right to conduct campaign in any part of Malawi.

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2019
2019
2 years ago

Does the law say they cannot endorse a candidate?

dan
dan
2 years ago

In wish this was written in Chichewa. Our Chiefs are intoxicated with people and that many will fall in the trap of this law out of ignorance. Perhaps it high time we started selecting chiefs on the ground of information and stop the nosense that many of our chiefs do all in the name of working with the government of the day and the unfounded fear of the powers that be. We further need to go for a government which will trim the powers of the president to elevate Chiefs. This make some chiefs to to be big mouthed for… Read more »

Getu Maseko
Getu Maseko
2 years ago

Maka mafumu a chilomwe wa.

Educated Northerner
Educated Northerner
2 years ago

Chief Ngongoliwa! DPP addict! I see you………..

Kapado Chimuthawirenji

Alufandika do you mean it. Are you going to act against Chief Lundu who openly endorses APM during his political rallies? I am impatiently waiting to see that happen.

ricco
ricco
2 years ago

mafumu alandila kale ndalama ku chokera ku DPP

maneno
maneno
2 years ago

Its an issue now coz they r endorsing opposition leaders.no matter what chilima will b the next leader move around and hear.

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