Jordan Simeon-Phiri -MEC Stringer
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has appealed to political parties to propagate issue based campaign during this official campaign period in preparations for the Constitutional Court July 2 sanctioned fresh presidential elections.
MEC chairperson. Jane Ansah sremidned all political parties that the official campaign period is time for contesting candidates and political parties to freely sell themselves to the electorates.
“The Commission is reminding all candidates and political parties that they signed to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates and we expect them to abide by it. During campaign, tell the electorates the substance of your manifesto and not focus on castigations and hate speech, reads the statement.
The statement further tells political parties to take this period as a defining moment and avoid taking it as an instrument to harass, humiliate, demonise, defame, intimidate and repress each other.
“If a candidate or political party is associated with this, they should be cautious because that might rebound. Parties and candidates have the responsibility to seriously address real issues, elaborate their manifesto, so that voters judge them based on ideas and on how they would resolve problems facing our nation, said Ansah in the statement.
The Commission has also appealed to political parties to find other innovative ways of reaching out to the electorates due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and various public health guidelines and restrictions.
In an interview, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka welcomed MEC’s plea with reservations, saying the Commission lacks the biting teeth to deal with complaints related to political violence.
“As a party we are ready to do issue based campaign with focus on what we will do once elected. However, our major concern is on MEC itself for failing to punish perpetrators of political violence in Mulanje and Thyolo who on different occasions hacked MCP and UTM party supporters in a Local Government by-election and their monitors during voter registration exercise respectively,” Mkaka said.
DPP secretary general Grezelder Geoffrey could not be drawn to comment on whether her party is ready to adhere to the Commission’s appeal.
However, a political commentator George Phiri expressed reservations on the matter, saying it is doubtful whether parties will comply with the call by the MEC chairperson