By Peter Kanjere:
The government has declared that there would be no public holiday Tuesday when 6.8 million Malawians vote in tripartite elections.
Office of the President and Cabinet Secretary, Lloyd Muhara, has made the stance days after Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Vice-Chairperson, Gift Trapence last week asked for a public holiday to give Malawians ample time to vote.
“Polling Day is not gazetted as a public holiday in Malawi. As such, 21st May 2019 will not be a public holiday. However, heads of government ministries, departments and agencies are hereby requested to put in place proper arrangements for employees to go and cast their votes while ensuring that there is no disruption to public service delivery, especially delivery of essential services,” Muhara says in a statement released on Friday.
Addressing the press in Lilongwe last Tuesday, Trapence said they have been receiving complaints, especially from the working class community, that it was challenging for them to dedicate time to the elections and work.
Trapence gave an example of the South African government, which he says, declared every polling day as a public holiday.
“We are demanding that the President and the government should declare May 21 as a holiday in order to allow every registered citizen time to vote. We have been receiving complaints from the public especially the working class that, from the previous elections, it has been difficult for them to go and vote and at the same time go to work,” Trapence said.
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