Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa has appealed to political parties to preach peace and desist from character assassination in their campaign messages ahead of the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
Speaking during the official launch of the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Public Trust at the weekend, the former Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson also said MEC and other stakeholders have a daunting task to ensure successful elections.
She observed that while the voter registration process was successful, MEC, Nice and other stakeholders “must now ensure that registrants go out to vote.”
“I don’t want to forget that the registration exercise that ended in December, 2013, was successful with over 94 percent people registered against MEC’s projected figure.”
“Now the crucial part remaining, which is also extremely important, is to motivate the registrants to come out and cast their votes in large numbers in an informed manner with reduced numbers of null and void votes,” she said.
To parties she said: “I appeal to all political parties to desist from violence, practice issues based campaign and not campaign based on character assassination and mudslinging.”
Launched under the theme ‘Walking with a transformed and empowered society towards free, fair and credible elections’, Nice seeks to strengthen democracy and good governance in the country.
Nice Public Trust chairperson Bishop Francis Kaulanda said during the function: “The rationale for the transformation of Nice arose from the need to ensure a permanent and sustainable existence with a long-term vision towards strengthening the democratic process and good governance in Malawi.”
Kaulanda further said to ensure sustainability, Nice board and management was looking at ways of diversifying the organisation’s funding base.
Nice, which operates under the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, is currently financed largely by European Union (EU) and the Malawi Government.
The EU, according to Ambassador Alexander Baum, will continue funding Nice for more years to come, but urged the organisation to spread it wings.