The Malawi Electoral Commission has started processing and developing a code of conduct for traditional leaders considering the crucial role they play during an electoral period.The Commission Chairperson, Justice Maxon Mbendera said the electoral body will consult the traditional leaders on the code of conduct for their input.Mbendera said it is planned that the code of conduct should be finalized before the campaign period kicks off. The commission has been receiving reports in the past where some chiefs have been creating no-go-zones for particular political parties or candidates.
This contributes to un-levelling of the play field more especially when it is the most-sought after venue,” said Mbendera adding that this is uncalled for and the Commission hopes that coming up with the code of conduct will help deal with this problem.Justice Mbendera said the code of conduct will also be presented to the National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) meeting before its implementation. He said chiefs play crucial role during an electoral period like mobilising people to register, to attend campaign meetings and also allocation of venues.The law is very clear that persons or political parties seeking to address a meeting should notify the District Commissioner through writing with a copy of the same to the Police.It is also clear that all public servants are supposed to give equal treatment to all contestants in an election,” added Mbendera.
Mbendera also announced that the Commission has planned that the inspection of the voters roll should take place from 24 to 28th March, 2014 saying this is the period all registered voters will go and verify the correctness of their details in the voter’s roll.He said the Commission will re-open all registration centres across the nation and all changes will be processed there and then.Apart from verifying details, this is the period that those who lost their certificates will be given duplicate certificates and those who have lost their certificates will have to go to the centre where they registered and report to the supervisor about the missing voter certificate, added Mbendera.
Source: Banthu Times