Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioner Arthur Nanthulu has called on the District Elections Supervisory Team (DEST) for Nsanje District to ensure that all set procedures and guidelines are adhered to during next month’s by elections.
Speaking during an orientation meeting the electoral body organised for the DEST members on Sunday in the District, Commissioner Nanthulu reiterated MEC commitment to achieve the required set legal and ethical standards in every election hence he called on the electoral staff in the district not to compromise on the same.
Commissioner Nanthulu further warned the district elections staff from being involved in any conducts of unprofessionalism such as being partisan saying the electoral body will not hesitate to sever its ties with such electoral staff.
“As the electoral body we have our manual, the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA)guiding our Operations. Specifically, in this area since it’s going to be a Local Government by-election, we are talking about the Local Government Elections Act which says explicitly what must be done.
“The overriding principle is that we must have a process that is free, fair and credible. At the end of the day all we want is to have an election whose outcome is accepted by all.
“I have therefore called upon these District Elections Staff to ensure that all the rules and regulations are adhered to as we don’t want our work to be challenged,” said Nanthulu.
On the violence that characterized the previous by elections in the district, Nanthulu said the electoral body has intensified efforts to avoid a repeat of the same. He nonetheless called for joint efforts among all electoral stakeholders in the district if the by elections are to be violent free.
On her part, Nsanje district Acting District Commissioner Hellen Bikoko vowed to ensure that the district elections staff are discharging their duties according to the stipulated guidelines
The by-elections are scheduled to be held on the 29th of June in Nsanje Lalanje ward as well as in Chikwembere ward in Blantyre North constituency where the incumbent ward councilors for the area passed on. In Nkhata bay Central constituency, the by-elections are to be held following the supreme court nullification of the 2019 parliamentary results for the area.