Donors urge parties to ensure elections are peaceful

Malawi’s development partners have called on politicians and political parties to refrain from escalating tensions at this critical time when Malawians are expected to vote in the presidential elections on June 23.

Ambassadors of Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, and the United States, the Charge D’affaires of the United Kingdom, and the Head of Mission from the Embassy of Iceland have said this in a statement today.

The development partners say they have been alarmed by the number of violent incidents over the last month. They have since urged all political leaders to refrain from escalating tensions as Malawians vote in the June 23 election.

“We further call on all parties and the Government to guarantee the security of election officials, voters, and leaders and supporters of all political parties,” reads part of the statement.

The ambassadors have also called on all stakeholders to support the efforts of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the security services, domestic election observers, and other institutions to ensure the process goes smoothly.

“We know that the MEC has been working tirelessly to address issues raised by the Constitutional Court in its ruling earlier this year and the new MEC Chair and commissioners have assumed their positions to oversee the process,” the statement says.

The development partners have also noted that the election will take place as Malawi continues to tackle Coronavirus in the country.

According to the ambassadors, their countries are providing support to the MEC to reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19 on polling day. The ambassadors have encouraged all voters to respect physical distancing guidance and to wear face coverings as they exercise their democratic right to vote.