The European Union (EU) has asked electoral stakeholders to ensure a peaceful and credible election as Malawi goes to the poll today to elect a President in a court-ordered fresh presidential election.
The organisation has appealed to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), competing political parties, their candidates and supporters to create conditions for a credible, inclusive, transparent and peaceful election and to refrain from any act of violence.
In a statement issued yesterday from its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Virginie Battu-Henriksson observed Malawians will be voting in the fresh election after a protracted but constitutionally determined process.
Reads the statement: “Malawi has a distinguished history of promoting and consolidating inclusive democracy, including ensuring full respect of the constitutional mandates of national institutions.
“The European Union will work with all actors in Malawi and with its partners, in particular the United Nations and the African Union, in accompanying this democratic process.”
Last week, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the African Union Commission (AUC) also issued statements urging all electoral and political stakeholders in the country to play their part in contributing to a peaceful and credible election.
In her statement issued on Saturday, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland said: “Malawi’s democracy, stability and development hinge upon the credibility of the forthcoming presidential election.
“I encourage all stakeholders, including the Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC], political parties, civil society organisations, the media, religious authorities, traditional leaders, and every citizen, to work together and play their respective roles constructively to ensure that the outcome of this election truly reflects the will of the people.”
In particular, Scotland urged government and opposition parties to demonstrate leadership by honouring their commitment to democracy and respect for the rule of law as enshrined in the country’s Constitution and reflected in the Commonwealth Charter.
In his statement, AUC chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat commended the country’s stakeholders for their respect for the rule of law and peaceful conduct since the annulment of the results of May 21 2019 presidential election.
He also encouraged all stakeholders to conduct themselves peacefully while observing all necessary Covid-19 response protocols.
Meanwhile, for the first time ever the three international bodies will not observe this election as has been the tradition over the years.
According to MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa, the electoral body invited the international observers but, as of Friday, nobody had confirmed availability during the exercise.
Diplomatic sources yesterday indicated that MEC extended the invitations on June 12, barely five days after the new team of commissioners led by High Court of Malawi judge Chifundo Kachale was appointed. n