Let us win or lose honourably`
Today, Malawians in three constituencies and three wards will be exercising their constitutional right to elect their preferred leaders in the by-elections.
The run-up to the by-elections have been a mixed bag. While there has been relative peace in most of the constituencies and wards, the story has been different in Nsanje Lalanje where violence and alleged intimidation was reported. Violence is totally against the spirit of democracy and it must be condemned at every opportunity.
Now that the polling day is finally here, we would like to commend the other areas where candidates and supporters have conducted themselves with decency expected of people living in civilised society. We would like to urge these to continue with the spirit on this crucial day. On Nsanje, we would like to plead with all to sheathe their weapons and fight using the ballot which is guaranteed to them by the Constitution.
Elections are not meant to be savage contests where there is bloodshed but they are supposed to be a means by which civilised people choose their representatives.
Democracy, by its very nature, gives people freedom to belong to different groupings or parties that have different philosophies. These differences are meant to strengthen democracy other than weaken it.
What we would like to remind supporters of all the candidates is that the indelible and immutable fact about elections is that there will always be one winner. By the end of day, we will know, unofficially, who has won and who has lost. We expect the winner to embrace their victory with humility and the losers to accept the results with grace and honour because there is always next time. After all, it is only 19 months to the next elections.
We have placed hope in the Malawi Electoral Commission to run free and fair elections helped by our security agencies who we have confidence in providing security.
In the end, whoever wins, we all must accept that democracy has triumphed and, as a matter of progress, let us support those legally elected; otherwise, may the best candidates win.
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