BLANTYRE ( Loness Gwazanga, Mana) –Political parties in the country have been blamed for interfering with electoral process by threatening Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) hired staff, a thing that has been described as one of the factors affecting the purpose of elections.
This was brought forward Friday during a review meeting for the 2014 tripartite elections for Blantyre Multi-Party Liaison Committee (MPLC) members who include law enforcers as well as traditional leaders among others.
It was established that during campaign and the actual voting period, some police officers were influenced by political parties to do their wish and break protocol or otherwise threatened to lose their positions once elected into power.
“We now urge political parties to please leave us alone so that we do what we know best without any influence. They should learn to respect protocol regardless of how strong they are in a particular area,” said one of the members at the meeting.
While acknowledging the accusation, Zidana Chiphale who represented Peoples Party said there was need for party regional governors to be part of the committee so that they understand fully what they are supposed to do at the right time.
He also said there was need for political parties to educate their supporters on what democracy means so that peace prevails among political parties at community level.
The meeting also urged MEC to make sure that in the 2019 elections, there should be proper coordination between them and hired staff so as to reduce anomalies in the voting and counting process as well as paying them immediately after the election.
MEC District Elections Clerk, Ben Makolomera then said; “MEC will make sure that voting materials reach polling stations at the right time so that voting process is not disturbed.”
In her remarks, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) District Civic Education Officer for Blantyre Rural, Rose Wengawenga Simfukwe urged political parties to help sensitize the public in as far as elections are concerned so that their supporters make informed decision.