The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), members of political parties and other stakeholders yesterday came up with a revised electoral code of conduct ahead of the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Under review was the electoral code that was used during the 2009 General Elections. It was prescribed under Section 61(2) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (PPE) Act number 31 of 1993 and under Section 45 of the Local Government Elections Act number 24 of 1996.
Opening the meeting, MEC chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera said everyone has a responsibility of creating a conducive climate to free and fair elections.
“We have come from a past in which intolerance orchestrated by political parties has seen our people being casualties of political violence. Many victims were young people and their families and relatives also suffered varying degrees of harassment and direct physical harm,” said Mbendera.
The meeting attracted highj profile personalities such as the United Democratic Front (UDF) secretary general Kandi Padambo, his counterparts in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Alliance for Democracy, Jean Kalirani and Khwauli Msiska respectively, and political scientist Nandini Patel.
Patel agreed with the idea of reviewing the electoral code, especially now that Malawi is heading towards the tripartite elections.
Said Patel: “The code of conduct needs to be reviewed after every five years to reflect on and to respond to new realities on the ground. It will also take on board new contestants- both parties and candidates.”