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Electoral stakeholders sign peace pact

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By Yohane Symon:

PUTTING PEN TO PAPER— Stakeholders

As a way of avoiding cases election-related violence, Mangochi District Council has facilitated the institution of a code of conduct for political parties and electoral players in the district.

Among other things, the code of conduct seeks to bind all political parties, aspiring candidates and religious groups to the application of electoral laws, instead of taking the law into their hands.

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Mangochi District Commissioner, Moses Chimphepo, said this has been done to avoid a repeat of what happened in the 2014 tripartite elections when police shot dead one man after violence erupted.

“All political parties are responsible for ensuring that their people respect the laws of the land. We don’t want to lose a life because of elections and, as such, we have initiated the signing of the code of conduct to promote peace among political players in the district,” he said.

He urged political parties to engage monitors on electoral laws, observing that, in some cases, monitors have fuelled political violence due to ignorance of the laws.

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Representatives of political parties have since signed the pact.

National Initiative for Civic Education Public Trust Mangochi Civic Education Officer, Turner Banda, concurred with Chimphepo, saying political parties should exercise caution when addressing their followers.

“We have had situations where political party leaders have been at the forefront of inciting violence. We should be careful with words we use when addressing party followers,” Banda said.

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