The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has threatened to call off the 10 November by-elections in Karonga Central because of political violence.
In a statement dated November 3, MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale said in the past few days the Commission has received complaints and reports of incidences of violence, intimidation and verbal abuse in Karonga Central Constituency.
Kachale condemned the incidences but expressed concern that the violence has potential to scare away voters.
“The Commission is warning all the candidates, political parties and the electorate in the constituency that if acts of violence and intimidation persist, it will have no choice but to call off the by-election to protect lives and property,” he said.
The Commission has since appealed to all political leaders to preach peace and tolerance during the campaign period.
According to MEC, political leaders should focus on issues other than character assassination which can easily breed violence and aggression.
The Commission has also advised the youth to refrain from being used to perpetrate violence.
“All political parties and candidates are advised to observe the code of conduct they signed for during nomination. The Commission will intensely monitor all campaign activities being conducted in the constituency and will not hesitate to enforce full compliance of the code of conduct by any of the electoral stakeholders.
“The Commission is also reminding all stakeholders that all violent activities committed during electoral period remain criminal and the relevant security agencies are advised to take appropriate measures as required by law,” reads part of the statement.