By Duncan Mlanjira
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has reminded the media not run campaign stories and adverts in the editions when the campaign period closes at 6am on Sunday, November 3 for Matenje Ward in Kasungu North West Constituency.
A statement from MEC signed by Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika, says editors are encouraged to manage news contents to remove campaign materials.
“Radio and television stations should also not broadcast or play any campaign messages and songs after the end of the official campaign period.”
MEC also stops all contesting candidates, political parties, media houses and the general public to strictly observe the closure of the campaign period for the November 5 by-elections.
“All stakeholders are, therefore, reminded that it is a violation of the law to campaign outside this period and those found guilty will face the arm of the law.
“After this deadline, no one will be allowed to go around soliciting, canvassing, or posturing for votes, whether directly or indirectly.
“Since the campaign period closes in the morning, those planning for campaign rallies should plan to end before the said 6 o’clock on the morning of November 3rd, 2019.
“The Commission wishes to emphasize that candidates and their supporters or agents will not be allowed to campaign or drive around hooting or with loud speakers playing campaign songs or any messages after the official deadline.
“Leaders of various faiths should not canvass for a candidate during any service of worship and should also be on the guard because their worship services can be used for campaign and the clergy are also advised to avoid projecting candidates after the end of period for campaign.
“All candidates that are sponsoring football trophies, conducting charity works, distributing relief items should do so before the end of campaign.
“No one will be allowed to hold a prize presentation for a competition after the official campaign period.”
All is set for the Tuesday Matenje Ward by-election though MEC postponed the parliamentary by-elections in Lilongwe South Constituency due to political tension in the area.
MEC says the commissioners and staff that were deployed to work in the constituency were being intimidated since the launch of the official campaign period on October 19.
MEC therefore resolved to postpone the by-elections until further notice, saying this is to safeguard life and property of the people in the constituency and that once the situation improves, it will announce a new date for the polling.