Officials of the National Initiative for Civic Education NICE Trust have backed president Joyce Banda’s shunning of the three presidential debates saying she exercised her right.
This comes as NICE trust officials told the media in Lilongwe that they have intensified voter civic education to ensure that there is no voter apathy and ensure reduction in the null and void votes in the forthcoming elections.
The Media Institute for Southern Africa organized the presidential debates that aimed at giving a platform for presidential candidates to articulate their policies and vision for the country.
However president Joyce Banda shunned all the presidential debates with her Peoples Party politicians backing her that she was too busy campaigning and running government business.
NICE Trust Executive Director Ollen Mwalubunju when asked of his impression about president Banda’s shunning of the debates he said there was nothing wrong with the president’s action.
“She exercised her right whether to participate or not in the debate, the other 11 presidential candidates chose to participate while the president gave reasons that she was busy and organizers respected that just as the respect was given to the 11 others who participated”, said Mwalubunju.
Mwalubunju however said it was an opportunity for candidates to take part in the debate so that they would sell themselves to voters and the president missed out.
“Debate is only one platform among the many that candidates have been using to sell themselves, so the election campaign takes different dimensions on the ground and the president felt that using other avenues than attending the debate was fine with her”, added Mwalubunju.
Mwalubunju commended the presidential candidates for ensuring that the need to promote peace and co-existence is done in most of the political rallies.
He hoped that peace will continue in the run up to elections and that citizens will accept the results of elections with a positive mind.