Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has urged traditional authorities (T/As) and their subordinate chiefs in Mangochi to mobilise their subjects to vote in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections slated for next Tuesday.
MEC commissioner Olivia Liwewe said this on Tuesday at Thema Teacher’s Development Centre in T/A Nankumba during a meeting with the chiefs to seek their support in the by-elections.
“We need a huge voter turnout during the voting day and this can be achieved if you mobilise people to vote,” she said.
Liwewe observed that people become lazy to go out and vote; hence, the need for the chiefs to assume a bigger role to deal with voter apathy, which has been prevalent in most of the by-elections.
The MEC official also seized the opportunity to ask the chiefs to implore their subjects to desist from violence.
She said: “We are committed to delivering successful and credible elections just like we did in the fresh presidential election and the recent by-elections.
“Therefore, may I urge you to help us achieve our aspirations by saying no to violence in your areas.”
In his remarks, T/A Nankumba advised the chiefs to provide an equal platform to all the candidates, stressing that as leaders they need to be neutral.
MEC’s appeal comes against a background of low turnout during by-elections.
The by-elections will be held in Mangochi West, North East and Phalombe North where the court nullified the May 21 2019 parliamentary elections over irregularities.