Monday, March 31, 2014

Malawi: Multiparty Liaison Committee strategizes for violence free 2014 Campaign

Zomba District Multiparty Liason Committee(MLPC)  has set up a code of conduct for political parties to ensure a violence free political atmosphere during the campaign period for the elections which the Malawi Electoral Commission has declared ahead of the much anticipated historical 2014 tripartite elections. At a meeting held at the district council chamber under the chairmanship of Zomba District Commissioner, Charles Thombozi, party representatives and independent candidates resolved to refrain from propagating political violence in the district.

Among the resolutions, the committee agreed to meet every Monday to distribute venues to competing candidates to avoid clashes of venues which many believe is a source of political conflicts among party supporters who resort to fight when they meet at the same venue. Thombozi assured all the competing candidates in the district that the political field will be levelled as far as permission of venues is concerned. He went on to say that no party or particular candidate will be favoured because it is the committee every Monday during the campaign period that will be responsible for equal and fair distributions of venues.

“This time it will not be the DC and the Police Officer In Charge whom you mostly accuse of favouring some interests, but the process will be done in a transparent and open manner following all applications received by the Multiparty Liason Committee, in which each representative of all competitors in the district will be involved in the distribution of venues. This was a sigh of relief to many members who expressed concern that some politicians may be booking all venues in a constituency quickly to block others. However, Thombozi clarified that according to the code that was drafted by the parties themselves in December last year, booking of venues will still be on first come first serve basis meaning that the party or candidate who brings a letter first shall be recorded indicating time in the register.

A MEC Code of Conduct for Chiefs was also read in the presence of Senior Chief Chikowi and Senior Chief Mlumbe representing all traditional leaders in the district among which it said no chief shall favour any candidate in their areas. The code also cautioned traditional leaders against denying some competing candidates in their areas to access venues to give advantage to others. Senior Chief Chikowi promised chiefs in the district will level the playing field saying as chiefs they are parents who look after all the children equally but warned some candidates who organize party meetings without informing them. The ruling  People’s Party (PP), United Democratic Front(UDF), Malawi Congress Party(MCP),Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), Alliance for Democracy(AFORD) and all independent candidates form the Multiparty Liaison Committee in the district.

Source: Malawi News Agency

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