Malawi politicians told to avoid provocative language

Malawi’s development partners have advised politicians to refrain from using inflammatory language and to reaffirm their confidence in the Judiciary.

Ambassadors of Japan, Norway, Nigeria, Tanzania, United States, Germany and Ireland as well as High Commissioner of the United Kingdom and the Head of Delegation of the European Union have released a statement today on the political situation in the country.

According to the development partners, they are concerned over the rising political tensions in the country.

The ambassadors have urged political party and community leaders to work together to deescalate the situation and focus on the common history and experiences that unite Malawians.

“We believe that in order for Malawi’s progress towards a stronger and more inclusive democracy to be deepened, it is critically important to refrain from using inflammatory language, and to show restraint when it is used by others,” reads part of their statement.

They have also encouraged political parties, the civil society, religious and traditional leaders, and all peace-loving Malawians to deeply reflect on the principles of national policy under the Constitution of Malawi which calls for peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration.

“This is the time for dialogue and peace-building, not deepened divisions which could undermine the unity of the country,” reads another part of the statement.

According to the development partners, it is also important for everyone to respect the rule of law at this important moment in the country’s history.

This, the ambassadors say, means abiding by both the letter and the spirit of the law and the Constitution, and for authorities to be upholding it consistently in all cases.

On the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the 2019 presidential elections, the ambassadors have welcomed the commitment of all of the main political parties to abide by the 3 February 2020 verdict, and the judgement that the Supreme Court will issue after hearing the appeal against that verdict in April.

Says the statement in part: “We call on political leaders to reaffirm their confidence in the judiciary, their willingness to find common ground, and their commitment to democratic norms and values.”

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