Chiefs, religious and party leaders sign MOU on peaceful elections

stakeholders pose for a photo after the signing ceremony

Centre for Social Concern on Thursday called together different electoral stakeholders in Balaka to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at encouraging and promoting consensus building between political parties, religious leaders, chiefs and other players.

The MOU under the theme “Tolerance among religious, traditional and political groups brings peaceful elections- May 2019”, was designed with hope of an inter-party dialogue environment for political parties and the public as we draw close to the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Under the terms of the MOU, political parties will identify the gaps in the laws and procedures governing electoral process and adopt a consultative and proactive approach in making suggestions for improvement once the campaign period starts up to the polling day.

Speaking to journalists after the signing ceremony, Bishop Montfort Sitima of Mangochi Diocese said the MOU is very important in observing peace, free and fair elections.

“Malawi is known as a peace loving country, but the elections can flair emotions of people and fight.

“The electoral process is not just the day of elections; it starts with the time of campaign.

“Whatever people do during campaign, the good preparations will also end with good results, so when people campaign peacefully, when the results are out they accept in good time,” said Bishop Sitima.

Balaka District Commissioner Ali Phiri said the function was very important because all major stakeholders in the electoral process came together and talked peace.

He called them to exercise tolerance among one another during this election.

“This is a very big milestone that has happened in Balaka and we are committed to have fair, free and transparent but also credible elections,” added Phiri.