The Malawi Electoral Commission has announced it will not administer by-elections in Lilongwe South Constituency over the tensions in the area.
The commission was due to oversee the elections in the Constituency on 5th November 2019. This was due to the death of UTM candidate Agnes Penemulungu in the run-up to the elections in May this year.
However, due to continued tensions in the area, the commission says it has resolved to postpone the poll until further notice.
According to the chief elections officer, Sam Alfandika, the Commission has been involved in a series of meetings with stakeholders over the matter and the resolution followed attacks and a sense of insecurity that Mec officials and contestants faced in the run up to the elections.
“The Commission has tried to quell the situation through convening a Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) meeting on October 25, 2019 after complaints of intimidation and violence had been filed,”
” Duringthe meeting all leaders pledged to stick to the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidate or risk disqualification. However, the situation has not improved. On 27th October, 2019 the Commission received reports from various stakeholders in Lilongwe South Constituency that some people were assaulted and their houses and property burnt and looted.”
Initially, the National Elections Trust Director Unandi Banda had advised Me to hold the elections due to the ongoing political unrest.
However, the commission through media officer Sangwani Mwafulirwa said that the legal framework of elections administration does not give room for the commission to give in to any form of tensions in election administration.
Credit: MIJ Online