The Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] has discouraged political parties from forming last-minute alliances, saying such moves would derail the candidates’ nomination process for this year’s May 20 Tripartite Elections.
MEC commissioner Emmanuel Chimkwita made the remarks in Thyolo during the training of constituency returning officers (CROs).
“During previous elections, some parties used to go into alliances when we were almost through with the nominations. In the end, we were forced to extend the process.
“The extension affected our electoral activities. We want to avoid this as much as possible this year,” said Chimkwita Phiri.
The nomination process will run between February 10 and 14, a period during which presidential, parliamentary and ward aspirants will present required documents to prove their eligibility to contest in the polls.
“We hope that the parties that want alliances have had enough time to negotiate and will not give excuses when we are winding up on nomination,” the MEC official said.
Presently, it is only the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) which has openly said it will not join forces with any party.
To prevent clashes among various party supporters during nominations, violence, the commissioner said they have devised a plan through which all candidates will be allocated their own time.
“We have advised the returning officers to ensure that all candidates don’t come at the same time to present their papers.
“We believe there will be peace throughout the process,” he stated.