JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE AMBASSADORS OF JAPAN, NORWAY, NIGERIA, TANZANIA, AND THE UNITED STATES, THE HIGH COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE AMBASSADOR AND HEAD OF DELEGATION OF THE EU, IN AGREEMENT WITH THE EU HEADS OF MISSION IN MALAWI – THE AMBASSADORS OF GERMANY AND IRELAND, AND THE HEAD OF MISSION FROM THE EMBASSY OF ICELAND ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN MALAWI.
As long-standing partners, our governments are committed to supporting Malawi to achieve its goals of democracy and development. We have been encouraged by the progress that the country has made since 1994 in terms of building an open and respectful political landscape.
This process has been underpinned by a belief in the value of tolerance and a rejection of violence as a means of resolving political disputes.
We have therefore watched the rising political tensions with growing concern. We believe that in order for Malawi’s progress towards a stronger and more inclusive democracy to be deepened, it is critically important to refrain from using inflammatory language and to show restraint when it is used by others.
We, therefore, call on political party and community leaders to work together to deescalate the situation and focus on the common history and experiences that unite Malawians which are far greater than what divides them.
We also urge all political parties, the civil society, religious and traditional leaders, and all peace-loving Malawians to deeply reflect on the principles of national policy under the Constitution of Malawi especially principle 13 (L) which calls for peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration.
This is the time for dialogue and peacebuilding, not deepened divisions which could undermine the unity of the country We believe that it is equally important for everyone to respect the rule of law at this important moment in the country’s history.
This means abiding by both the letter and the spirit of the law and the Constitution, and for authorities to be upholding it consistently in all cases.
We, therefore, welcome the commitment of all of the main political parties to abide by the verdict of the Constitutional Court on 3 February 2020, and the judgement that the Supreme Court will issue after hearing the appeal against that verdict in April.
We call on political leaders to reaffirm their confidence in the judiciary, their willingness to find common ground, and their commitment to democratic norms and values.
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