13 September 2018

Malawi: Catholic Bishops Reiterate Apolitical Stand

Lilongwe — Catholic Bishops in Malawi have reiterated their stand that they will not support or endorse any particular politician or political party for the forthcoming Tripartite General Elections next year.

But they said they still encourage their faithful to take an active role in politics.

The Bishops made their stand in a statement released Thursday by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM). They said they released the statement after reflecting on some developments taking place in the country in the run up to the 2019 tripartite elections.

"Just as we stated in our June 2018 statement, we wish to reiterate that while the Church encourages Catholics to take an active role in politics, we the Catholic bishops in Malawi cannot and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party," reads the statement.

In the statement which has been signed by seven Bishops and the Diocesan Administrator for Dedza diocese, the Bishops also call upon all eligible persons to exercise their right to vote in the forthcoming elections by registering in the ongoing voter registration exercise.

"Once again, we urge all eligible Malawians to register and vote in the forthcoming elections. Voting in such elections is not only a right but also an obligation of every eligible Malawian," reads the statement.

The Bishops have also called for political tolerance amongst all stakeholders while advising political parties to desist from dragging the church into petty politics.

The Bishops have also denounced the recent attack on the person of Pope Francis at a political rally.

"We call for mutual respect and understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among people of different religions in the country for the benefit of all so that together we can preserve and promote peace, liberty and moral values," says the statement.

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