MEC condemns acts of violence ahead of by-elections

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has condemned acts of violence that erupted on Sunday in Nsanje Central Constituency at Tengani Trading Center between followers of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters which has left four injured.

MEC’s Director, Public Relations and Communications Officer Sangwani Mwafulirwa said acts committed during elections remain a criminal act and Police will pounce on every violence perpetrator.

According to Mwafulirwa, the acts of violence are uncalled for and urged aspirants and political party leaders to abide to code of conduct they signed with the commission.

“We condemn these acts regardless of who is the perpetrator and the reason for doing such. The Malawi Electoral Commission in consultations with relevant stakeholders developed a code of conduct. We are urging all candidates to stick to the code of conduct for the fact that they signed to abide to this code of conduct and political party leaders also signed for the same,” said Mwafulirwa.

Mwafulirwa : The violence are uncalled for

Mwafulirwa said MEC is expected to meet political party leaders to discuss on the issue of violence during the campaign period.

Police has meanwhile arrested two people in connection to the violence. According to Nsanje Police Officer In-Charge Senior Superintendent Selemani Mtambo, the two will appear before court on 17 March as Police are still investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, MEC has finished analyzing nomination papers that aspiring candidates submitted to the commission on 8 March. Mwafulirwa said the process involved verifying validity of documents that were submitted including National Identity Cards. According to Mwafulirwa, the Commission has rejected nomination papers for Leadership for Compassionate Party (LCP) candidate Patrick Promise Kaunda in Karonga North West Constituency after his documents showed that he has not attained the age of 21 as required by law.

The Commission has also pleaded with aspirants to consider giving their supporters face masks will help to contain further spread of Covid-19. MEC has also urged the aspirants to consider alternative ways of canvasing votes to avoid bringing a lot of people.

The aspirants have also been warned not to give materials to their supporters beyond 28 March 2021 6am. MEC is supposed to conduct by-elections on 30 March in Seven constituencies and two wards.