NGO Warns Political Parties for not Involving the Youth

One of the country’s Non Governmental Organisations is warning political parties in the country that do not have young parliamentary candidates not to cry foul when they will start to work with them prior to the elections.

Youth net and Counselling YONECO says it has lined up a number of programmes that will target young parliamentary aspirants for all political parties in the country.

YONECO Executive Director Mr. McBain Mkandawire has however said political parties that have no young parliamentary aspirants should therefore not brand them as partisan when the programme starts.

As of December 29 2008, there were known 26 young people who had won primary elections to represent different political parties in the country in the parliamentary polls set for May 19th this year.

Executive Director for Youth net and Counselling YONECO Mr. McBain Mkandawire says they have sourced funds from the United Nations Democracy Fund which will carter for different programmes that will prepare the young aspirants.

One of the activities will be constant meetings with the would be young politicians that will include trainings in advocacy, campaigning techniques, and public speaking among others.

He said since other political parties do not have young parliamentary aspirants there is a danger that they will feel sidelined and start making unnecessary noise.

Although different organisations vigorously campaigned for the inclusion of youths and women when political parties would be fielding its parliamentary candidates political parties did not take heed.

In a last ditch attempt to gun for support for women representation in parliament, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation has said it will be meeting leaders of all political parties in country.

CHRR Executive Director Mr. Undule Mwakasungula said his organization has proposed to with the top three political parties in the country.

“Primary elections that several political parties have conducted have shown that women have once again been marginalized,” he said.

Mwakasungula said they intend to meet the United Democratic Front UDF chairperson Dr. Bakili Muluzi, Malawi Congress Party MCP President Mr. John Tembo as well as Democratic Progressive Party DPP and State President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika.

“Women are supposed to been given an opportunity to take part in politics because they have been marginalized for long, but what was more bothersome is in the way political parties have conducted primaries elections for aspiring Member of Parliament which has marginalized them further,” he said.

Registration of voters is now reaching an end and over 4 million voters have been registered.

The Malawi Electoral Commission has now started getting nomination forms for all those aspiring to contest as Members of Parliament for Malawi 193-member national assembly.

Since the process is characterised by violence aspirants at Malawi’s border district Chitipa has resolved that party supporters should not escort their candidates.

The District Commissioner Charles Mwawembe confirmed of the decision by the district’s Multiparty Liaison Committee and said as the returning officer he has adopted the resolution.

“The committee reached this consensus after observing that political violence start during this time when aspirants are presenting their nomination papers, especially when escorted by their supporters,” he said.


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