As the country goes to the polls on Tuesday, Malawi’s development partners have called on all political parties and stakeholders to guarantee the security of election officials, voters, leaders and supporters to ensure a peaceful and credible electoral process.
This is contained in a joint statement from the Ambassadors of the United States, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Norway, Charge D’ Affaires of the United Kingdom and the Head of Mission from the Embassy of Iceland.
As consistent supporters of democracy and the rule of law in Malawi, the diplomats say they stand together with the country’s citizens as they exercise their voting and democratic rights.
“Malawi has a long history of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The strength of its democratic institutions has enabled Malawi to deal peacefully with inevitable challenges and disagreements since multi-party democracy and over the last year.
“We know that the MEC has been working tirelessly to address issues raised by the Constitutional Court in its ruling earlier this year and the new MEC Chair and commissioners have assumed their positions to oversee the process.
“We urge all stakeholders to support the efforts of the MEC, the security services, domestic election observers, and other institutions to ensure the process goes smoothly” read the statement.
They encouraged all parties to continue safeguarding democratic institutions and work through them in line with the Constitution.
Whilst expressing alarm over the number of violent incidents over the last month, the diplomatic community appealed to all political leaders to refrain from escalating tensions at this critical time.
In their bid to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on polling day, they are providing support to the Commission to encourage all voters to observe physical distancing, wear face coverings as they vote.