Parties advised to avoid clash of venues

Karonga district multiparty liaison committee (MPLC) chairperson Paul Kalilombe has asked political parties in the district to notify his office every time they plan to hold campaign political rallies to avoid clash of events that may lead to political violence.

Kalilombe made the call on Friday during the MPLC meeting aimed at brainstorming with electoral stakeholders on a number of developments in the electoral calendar that includes voter verification, transfers and replacements of voter certificates.

“Said Kalilombe: “If we are to hold free, fair, credible and violence free fresh presidential elections in the district then we have to make sure that the whole process is done peacefully. Let us avoid conducting rallies without informing my office, as has been the case in the recent past, for security reasons,”

Taking his turn, the Karonga district elections clerk Steve Ndau advised electoral stakeholders to mobilise electorates to go in centres for voter certificates transfers, verification and replacement of voter certificates on Monday, June 1 as a compensation for a day that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) missed during the first phase of voter registration exercise that was stopped due to the pending novel coronavirus lockdown that was later on challenged in court.

At the meeting, political parties assured electoral stakeholders that they will adhere to rules and regulations to ensure prevalence of peace before, during and after fresh presidential elections.

In an interview, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) district governor Youngson Mwakalenga said as a party they are aware of the importance of booking political rally venues and that is what the party is doing to avoid unnecessary tension.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) district chairperson James Nkhoma hailed MPLC for the meeting, saying the meeting was timely and has sorted out several concerns such as behavior of security staff, transmission of results from polling centres to the district tally centre.

Speaking on behalf of the district’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Robert Silungwe of Foundation for Community Support services (FOCUS) implored political parties to avoid castigating each other during campaign rallies but focus on issue based campaign for voters to make informed decisions.

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