SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation chairperson, President Emerson Mnangagwa has urged stakeholders in today’s Malawi presidential elections to be politically tolerant and channel any grievances arising from the polls to relevant bodies.
Malawi went to the polls today in a Presidential re-run after Peter Mutharika’s disputed election victory was annulled by the country’s Constitutional Court.
President Mnangagwa said as Malawians vote, SADC stands in solidarity with its people and remains engaged with all stakeholders in that country.
“SADC also urges stakeholders to remain politically tolerant and peaceful in the remaining campaign period, and to exercise calm and restraint during and after election-day.
“Furthermore, SADC encourages all candidates, their supporters and other stakeholders to channel any grievances regarding the electoral process and its final outcomes through the appropriate legal channels,” the President said in a statement which was issued yesterday.
Meanwhile, there has been concerns in some circles over how Malawi will manage logistical and safety challenges of conducting an election amid the coronavirus pandemic.
President Mnangagwa also said that stakeholders in Malawi must embrace innovative voting measures in the wake of the highly contagious Covid-19 pandemic.
“SADC remains engaged with stakeholders in Malawi, and reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Malawi in this period of uncertainty and risk caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, SADC commends all stakeholders for their efforts in ensuring that the people of Malawi exercise their democratic right to vote in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. SADC encourages all stakeholders to apply innovative election campaign and voting measures that minimize chances of the spread of the virus,” he said.