Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, Monday warned against violence ahead of by-elections in Lilongwe South Constituency and Liwawadzi ward in Balaka District on January 30 and March 5, 2020 respectively.
The by-election in Lilongwe South failed to take place last November following reports of political violence.
Ansah said the resumption of the electoral process follows an assurance from chiefs and other stakeholders that the elections would be peaceful.
“The commission met all stakeholders through the Centre for Multiparty Democracy. Everyone expressed concern and deep regret with the violence that marred the process. They all assured the commission that they will engage their subjects on the need to maintain law, peace and order during elections,” she said.
“I should give a stern warning that the commission will not tolerate any acts that will jeopardise the process of holding a free, fair credible and peaceful election. Anyone found engaging in such acts will be barred from participating in the electoral process.”
The commission said the election process will resume from where it stopped in October; hence, the campaign period will end on January 28 2020.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Eisenhower Mkaka, said while the party is participating in the election under protest, they have prepared their supporters against violence.
“This will also depend on how Mec will conduct itself furing the election. There is already tension in the country and if Mec is perceived not to be independent and people react, that will be not blamed on the the party,” he said.
Five candidates, including Frank Mazizi of Democratic Progressive Party, Peter Dimba (MCP), Patson Mtchyoka (Independent), Samson Phinifolo (Independent) and Julius Gracian Chongwe (Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy) are participating in the by-election.
Liwawadzi ward fell vacant following the death of DPP councilor, Thomson Bwanali, on October 25 2020.