UN concerned over parliament violence

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The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over violent incidents in Malawi during the early stages of the electoral process.

In a press statement signed by UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi Maria Jose Torres, the UN has pointed out the assault of a Times journalist at the National Assembly and threats and intimidation of MPs attending the opening of the 2018/2019 Budget Meeting at Parliament.

Maria Jose Torres Macho

UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi Maria Jose Torres

The organization has also condemned threats directed to female councilors and civil society activists in Malawi.

UN has asked authorities to investigate the incidents and where relevant prosecute perpetrators.

“The UN underlines the importance of the full respect for the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and political participation, including for women. Promoting conditions for holding credible, free and fair elections in 2019 requires a climate of tolerance and respect for the rule of law that enables citizen’s participation and equal representation, including for women,” says the statement.

The organization has also urged state institutions, media, religious leaders, traditional leaders and political parties to actively promote peaceful settlement of disputes, as contained in the existing electoral and peace building legal and policy frameworks.

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