The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it could call off the by-election in Karonga Central if the violent incidents that have characterized campaign period, there, persist.
MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale has since condemned sporadic incidents of violence involving supporters of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, whose leaders are President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima, respectively.
The electoral body is expected to hold by elections in the constituency and also in Lilongwe North West and Chikwawa South Ward in Chikwawa on November 10 2020.
Lilongwe North West seat fell vacant following Chakwera’s ascendancy to the country’s Presidency while the other seats fell vacant following the demise of the occupants.
The battle of supremacy in Karonga Central is between MCP and UTM, lead parties in Tonse Alliance, which ousted Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from government.
MCP wants to get the seat through Leonard Mwalwanda, nephew to late Cornelius Mwalwanda, who was the MP for the area while UTM is pursuing the seat through former legislator Frank Tumpale Mwenefumbo.
And there has been political conflict between the supporters of the candidates resulting in eight serious cases of assault and unlawful wounding.
These ugly scenes recorded in the area have forced the electoral to appeal to their political leaders to preach peace and tolerance during the campaign period.
Kachale observed that the violent incidents have the potential to scare away electorates from attending political rallies and participating in polling on 10th November 2020.
He therefore appealed to all political leaders to preach peace and tolerance while focusing on issues other than character assassination which, he noted, can easily breed violence and aggression.
“The Commission warns all candidates, political parties and electorates in the constituency that if acts of violence and intimidation persist, it will have no choice but to call of the by-election in the area to protect lives and property,” warned Kachale.
Kachale said while they have received complaints and reports of violence, intimidation and verbal abuse in Karonga Central, campaign period has been generally peaceful in Lilongwe North West and Chikwawa South Ward.
The Chairperson also advised the youths to desist from being used to incite violence.
He also reminded candidates to observe the code of conduct they signed for, saying violent activities committed during electoral period remain criminal and the law will be allowed to take its course.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :