The Interfaith Election Initiative has appealed to all Malawians and, political party leaders to maintain calm and let the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) execute its duties with the independence it deserves.

The Initiative, which is a consortium of various religious bodies in the country aimed at achieving free, fair, transparent and credible 2014 elections, made the appeal on Friday at a press briefing held in Lilongwe quoting Sections 76 (4) and 75 (2) of the Constitution.

Chairperson Rev. Charles Makata, said Section 76 (4) of the Constitution stipulates that the credibility of the Malawi Electoral Commission shall exercise its powers , functions and duties under the section independent of any direction or interference by other authorities or any person.

He added that Section 75 (2) (c) provides the Commission with the power to determine electoral petition and complaints related to the conduct of any elections.

“We, therefore, appeal to all authorities and persons to provide a conducive environment for MEC to execute its duties with the independence it deserves at this time when the entire nation is anticipating the elections results,” explained Rev. Makata.

He further appealed to political parties to avoid exerting unnecessary pressure on MEC for political and personal interests and that the electoral commission must always operate with the sustained trust of Malawians as that is how the Constitution intends the country’s democratic institutions to operate.

Rev. Makata condemned any machinations to usurp the role and powers of MEC adding that it was “absolutely incorrect to use MEC as a stepping stone for amassing short term and selfish political gains at the expense of the general citizenry”.

He also urged all concerned parties to desist from using the media as a platform for lodging their various complaints but that they should rather use proper channels in presenting their complaints.

“We challenge politicians to live by their campaign promises and to stand firm on the peace commitments as well as the numerous development-related declarations which they signed and prove to Malawians that their participation in the May 20 Tripartite Election was based on the genuine desire to serve Malawians,” said Rev. Makata.

He also applauded and congratulated all Malawians for the levels of patience and observance of peace they have demonstrated during the period of waiting for election results.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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