The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has issued a stern call to political parties and aspiring Members of Parliament in Dedza Central Constituency to strictly adhere to its Code of Conduct in the upcoming by-election scheduled for November 16, 2023.
Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale, Chairperson of the MEC, delivered the message during the launch of the Dedza Central Constituency by-election campaign and the presentation of the electoral calendar in the district.
Kachale emphasized the importance of upholding the principles of free and fair elections and made it clear that the electoral body would not tolerate any actions that compromise these principles.
He specifically warned against attempts to manipulate the by-election or engage in derogatory language and personal attacks during the campaign period.
Kachale also pointed out that recent revisions in electoral laws mean that individuals could face legal consequences if their conduct on the political stage exceeds the boundaries set by the law.
“We know the exact number of voters registered here and any anomaly will be noticed. Again, this time around, the law has been revised; you could be prosecuted if your conduct on the political podium is going beyond what the law permits,” he said.
Furthermore, Kachale urged all parties and contestants to focus on conducting issue-based campaigns, emphasizing that any form of castigation or personal vilification is now explicitly prohibited by law and could result in disqualification from the by-election.
Thomas Chigwenembe, Dedza District Commissioner, echoed the importance of collaboration among members of the District Elections Supervisory Team (DEST) and other electoral stakeholders to ensure the smooth and successful conduct of the by-election.
Chigwenembe stressed the vital role of teamwork in upholding the integrity of the electoral process.
The constituency became vacant following the passing on of the area’s legislator Daniel Chiwere on July 17, 2023.