The authority at the Malawi Electoral commission (MEC) has advised its officers expected to preside over the forthcoming by-election on June 29th 2021 to be nonpartisan.
The development transpired on Thursday 24th June, 2021 at Nkhata-bay district council where MEC commissioner Richard Chapweteka presided over a briefing session of District Elections Supervisory Team (DEST) on polling process and result management for Nkhata-bay central constituency.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting, commissioner Chapweteka urged all the officers that will be managing the by-election to refrain from taking sides with any political affiliations which may result in the disheartening of the credibility for the election.
“We don’t expect anything more than impartiality because we are in a self-governing society and if our staff will be partial, that undermines the will of the people so that’s why we emphasized that they should be subjective to achieve successful polls for the by-election.”
“The electorate have the right to elect a candidate of their choice as the democracy demands and our staff are being encouraged to be professional and avoid interfering with the people’s choice through taking sides which might compromise the election process,” he said.
The commissioner also said that the by-elections which are going to be held in Nsanje Lalanje, Blantyre north and Nkhata-bay central are not aimed at testing the credibility of the new commission but rather maintaining the good standards when it comes to elections and reaching the higher levels of the commission’s performance.
He said: “It’s not about testing the credibility of the new commission but maintaining the acceptable standards that are expected when it comes to running elections. That issue does not arise because the last Fresh Presidential election was chaired by the same commissioner who will also preside over the current one and we don’t expect anything different. We just have to do better.”
Meanwhile 17,684 eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots during the 29th June parliamentary re-run in Nkhata-bay central constituency which has got 19 polling stations and Symon Vuwa Kaunda of Democratic Progressive party (DPP), Gabriel Nyirenda of United Democratic Front (UDF) and Ralph Mhone of People’s Pparty (PP) from Tonse Alliance are the confirmed candidates to contest.