The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has called upon presiding officers managing the forthcoming Dedza Central by-elections to treat the polls as serious matter which can destroy or make a nation.
MEC Commissioner Olivia Liwewe said this on Sunday in Dedza during a training of the presiding officers ahead of the by-elections slated for Thursday this week.
In an interview, Liwewe said the officers need to abide by the law and all set procedures when overseeing the by-elections.
She said: “Elections are very important, and therefore it is very critical that we prepare thoroughly and that we looked at all procedures we look at all our manuals, and that come polling day we are perfectly prepared.
“Because anything that we do wrong can have very hard repercussions. So elections are very important.”
The commissioner added the by-election is special of its kinds since it will be conducted using the recently amended electoral laws.
“Because we are using new laws and regulations as we prepare for 2025, this gives them a chance to practice using the new law using the new procedures and using the new manuals. So it is an opportunity for them to perfect their preparation for 2025,” Liwewe said.
“If you want to manipulate the elections the law will find you guilty, and you will be dealt with according to the law. So, even with us as the Electoral Commission we observe our presiding officers. If they don’t do a good job, we punish them they may even lose their jobs.”
The Commission registered a total of 3,202 voters of which 1,209 are male and 1993 are female. This brings the total number of registered voters for the by-election to 47,713.