The Tonse Alliance administration has been asked to provide an enabling civic space for citizens and strengthen democratic institutions to promote and consolidate the country’s democracy.
The country’s social, governance and human rights activists made the call yesterday as Malawi commemorated the International Day of Democracy.
The day, declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, is commemorated annually on September 15 to provide a platform to review and assess the state of democracy across the world.
While calling upon government and other key stakeholders to make necessary adjustments in the quest for a mature democracy, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in a statement described the day as a clear-cut chance for the country to take stock of her gains.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said as the country reflects on her democracy, government should
also reflect on the meaningful participation of other groups such as women and youths.
“Failure to recognise these groups has been one of the shortfalls of our democracy… HRDC recognises the role of citizens’ active participation in the promotion of good governance and the improvement of livelihoods. Over time, we have seen how active citizenship has played a vital role in safeguarding democracy,” he said in the statement.
The statement titled ‘A call for active citizenship in Malawi’s democracy’ Trapence said despite several challenges Malawians have over the past decades shown different regimes they fully understand their role in the democratic process.
“Our call as HRDC is that government must strive to strengthen democratic institutions through adequate funding. Government must make deliberate efforts to implement policies for the meaningful participation of women and the youths in representation and participation of the democratic processes.
“Government must also provide an enabling civic space for citizens to easily participate in the democratic processes,” said Trapence.
On his part, social and governance commentator Undule Mwakasungula yesterday said Malawi needed to celebrate the day by remembering the struggles and the commitment the country made to safeguard democracy.
“Malawi is a Constitutional democracy and our democracy has grown over time unlike in other countries in Africa. As a country we set benchmarks to sustain our democracy some being respect of the rule of law , promotion and protection of human rights and conducting of free and credible elections just to name a few,” he said.