MESN faults MPs on tripartite polls’ shift

One of Malawi’s electoral watchdog, Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has accused Members of Parliament (MPs) for lacking interest and commitment in the tripartite elections.

MESN blame comes following government’s announcement that it is shifting the overdue tripartite elections from 2014 to 2019 because it has no funds to finance the polls.

But addressing the media on Tuesday, MESN said it was not amused with government’s decision and blamed the MPs for not showing the much needed interest and commitment on the matter.

MESN Spokesperson, Steven Duwa, expressed dissatisfaction with the sudden development and ranted at the legislators’ sudden change of heart on the issue.

Duwa: Democracy is expensive

He wondered why the same MPs who not so long ago were in full support of conducting the polls in 2014 are now backing government’s stand to shift them to 2019.

“These Members of Parliament are not interested to have tripartite elections,” said Duwa. “It is surprising because they are the same people who were supporting it but they are now refusing.”

The spokesperson, however, brushed aside claims that government had no funds to conduct the tripartite elections.

He said as a democratic country, Malawi needed to conduct the elections with or without funds.

“Democracy is very expensive but we still need to do these things all the time in respect of our constitution whether we have money or not,” said Duwa.

He hinted that his body would still continue fighting for the elections without elaborating steps it will take.

“As MESN we will discuss the matter at a higher level,” he said while suggesting that the country should go for a referendum on the matter to find out what Malawians want.

Since the country attained democracy in 1993, the country has held local government  elections only once (during President Bakili Muluzi’s second term) in all the four general elections it has conducted.

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