By Lovemore Katanda

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has called on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country to sensitize masses on importance of voting in the forthcoming presidential fresh polls.

According to the statement released by the commission on May 2, 2020 for official launch of campaign period, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah says CSOs should refrain from being biased when disseminating massages about the election.

“Commission is advising the CSOs in the country not to take part in campaigning but rather they should be reminding people about the importance of voting in this election,’ reads one paragraph of the statement.

MEC chair has also implored youths in the country not to be used by politicians to make violence during the campaign period.

In the statement, Ansah has also advised political parties to follow all preventive measures for covid-19 as proposed by ministry of health.

According to the statement, official campaign period for Presidential election will run from may2, 2020 up to 30 June this year.

Reacting to the statement, social and political commentator Joseph Chikwemba said this year’s campaign will be a bit difficulty for politicians as they are limited to interact with electorates on the ground following the restrictions on covid-19 preventive measures by government for assembly of not more than 100 people.

However, Chikwemba described the campaign launch as formalities, saying people already made up their minds.

“These are just formalities. People made up their minds already and they know whom to vote for,” he said.

This year’s campaign period has been launched before presentation of nomination papers by aspirant candidates.

Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Transformation Movement (UTM) alliance are expected to present their nomination papers on 6 and 7 may,2020.

On February 3 this year, constitutional court in Lilongwe nullified may 21 presidential polls following the irregularities that marred the elections and ordered the MEC commission to conduct fresh polls.

According to MEC the presidential election are scheduled to take place on July 2,2020.

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