Joint Statement on Presidential Elections from Malawi’s Development Partners

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE AMBASSADORS OF GERMANY, IRELAND, JAPAN, NORWAY, AND THE UNITED STATES, THE CHARGE D’AFFAIRES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND THE HEAD OF MISSION FROM THE EMBASSY OF ICELAND ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN MALAWI.

As consistent supporters of democracy and the rule of law in Malawi, we stand together with the Malawian people as they go to the polls this week.

Malawi has a long history of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The strength of its democratic institutions has enabled Malawi to deal peacefully with inevitable challenges and disagreements since multi-party democracy and over the last year. We call on all stakeholders to continue to safeguard these democratic institutions and work through them in line with the Constitution.

We know that the MEC has been working tirelessly to address issues raised by the Constitutional Court in its ruling earlier this year and the new MEC Chair and commissioners have assumed their positions to oversee the process. We urge all stakeholders to support the efforts of the MEC, the security services, domestic election observers, and other institutions to ensure the process goes smoothly.

It is the responsibility of all political parties and all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful election. We have been alarmed by the number of violent incidents over the last month and we urge all political leaders to refrain from escalating tensions at this critical time. We further call on all parties and the Government to guarantee the security of election officials, voters, and leaders and supporters of all political parties.

The election will take place as Malawi continues to tackle Coronavirus in the country. We are providing support to the MEC to reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19 on polling day, and encourage all voters to respect physical distancing guidance and to wear face coverings as they exercise their democratic right to vote.