The United Nations (UN) has condemned the assault of a Times Group journalist, threats and intimidations of legislators during the opening of the Parliamentary Budget Meeting last Friday, and threats directed to female councillors and civil society activists.
The UN has since called on the police to investigate the matter and ensure that culprits are brought to book.
A statement issued yesterday, signed by UN resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres stresses the need for tolerance and respect of the rule of law that enables citizens’ participation and equal representation as a way of promoting credible, free and fair elections next year.
Reads the statement in part: “The UN in Malawi is concerned about several recent incidents taking place at the beginning of the electoral period… We call on authorities to investigate and where relevant, prosecute perpetrators”.
Torres further states that separately there were threats directed at female councillors and civil society activists in the country.
“We call on authorities to investigate and, where relevant, prosecute perpetrators of the incidents,” she says in the statement.
Torres says promoting conditions for holding credible, free and fair elections in 2019 requires a climate of tolerance and respect for the rule of law that enables citizen’s participation and equal representation, including for women.
The UN has since called on all stakeholders, including State institutions, the media, religious, traditional and political leaders to promote peaceful settlements of disputes as contained in existing electoral and peacebuilding legal and policy frameworks.