MPLCs have lots do ahead of May 2014 Tripartite elections - DFIDNov 29, 2013
Lone Sorensen, Governance and Security Team Leader at the Department for International Development (DFID-UK) in Malawi believes that district-based Multiparty Liaison Committees (MPLCs) have a lot to do to ensure peaceful general elections in May 2014.
Despite being defunct for several years, MPLCs in some districts in the country are now making positive contributions towards preventing violence, promoting local dialogue, and solving various problems among people with different political inclinations. With funding from DFID, UNDP has been supporting the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (Malawi) (CMD-M) to revive MPLCs in 12 districts in the country ahead of the May 2014 general elections.
One of the districts in involved in the project is Nsanje where Ms. Sorensen had the privilege to visit and appreciate what the MPLC is doing there.
“It’s good that the group comes together and holds constructive discussions and that it is happening in a friendly way with a good atmosphere.
“I can see that it’s an important forum for the different parties to get together to discuss issues.”
Nevertheless, Sorensen acknowledged that the MPLC has a lot do in preparations for the country’s general elections in May 2014.
“I am sure there is plenty of work to be done before the elections next year. There may be some issues of representation particularly of women who were absent around the table, and this is something we need to think about going forward.”
“We saw today that there are issues of demarcations and I think more issues will continue to come up as we move closer to the elections and as campaigns begin.
“I hope the group will play their role in mediation between the parties and ensure that issues are resolved in a peaceful manner.”
MPLCs are a peace building mechanism in which political party leaders at district level work together with various stakeholders to foster peaceful co-existence among members of different political parties. CMD-M is supporting the committees through the Strengthening Political Parties Project, a three-year project essentially aimed at helping political parties to have clear ideologies and functioning internal democracy.