Malawi Electoral Commissioner (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has asked political parties contesting in Liwawadzi Ward by-election in Balaka North Constituency to find reliable and knowledgeable monitors.
Ansah, who is a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, said this on Tuesday when MEC launched Liwawadzi Ward by-election at Mbera Teachers Development Centre in Balaka North.
She said: “MEC cannot run a free and fair election without the cooperation of contestants through their monitors.
“We ask parties to civic educate their monitors to maintain integrity and impartiality during the whole electoral process. Knowledgeable monitors act as ears and eyes of political parties and contestants and give the whole electoral process credibility.”
She also said parties should have eligible candidates because once disqualified, they will not be able to replace them.
Democratic Progressive Party director of women (East) Elube Kandeu asked contestants to conduct peaceful and issue-based campaign.
“We believe candidates will be objective in their promises to the electorate,” she said.
In an interview, one of the aspiring candidates, Peoples’ Party candidate Ronald Mphepo appealed to MEC to conduct the by-election in a free, fair and credible manner to restore peoples’ confidence in the electoral body.
“We will not accept the results if the election will not be free and fair. We want a credible election whose results will represent the will of the people,” he said.
Balaka district commissioner Emmanuel Bambe said people of Liwawadzi Ward have no representation at the council.
“The by-election, therefore, will afford people an opportunity to elect a councillor who will represent the ward,” he said.
Lowawadzi Ward fell vacant following the death of former councillor Thomson Bwanali. The by-election will be held on March 5 2020.