EDITORIAL: Local leaders should lead by example during election period

Police have announced the arrest of several local leaders for flouting electoral laws. That some people tend to break the rules during election time is to be expected, there is a lot of excitement and euphoria in the air.

Police have announced the arrest of several local leaders for flouting electoral laws.

That some people tend to break the rules during election time is to be expected, there is a lot of excitement and euphoria in the air.

But it becomes a bit unsettling when the person who is supposed to ensure that the elections are held in a serene atmosphere is the one breaking the law.

A mayor in one of the Northern districts and several other local administrators are currently under detention for harassing some presidential candidates.

Some are accused of intimidation, preventing people from attending campaign rallies and outright incitement against the candidates. True to its word, the police jumped into action to bring some order. Some similar incidents are also under investigation but it leaves a bitter after-taste in the mouth.

Do some of our leaders just pay lip service when they talk about good governance? The electoral laws are there to be observed and the electoral commission has pledged to conduct a seamless process. It should not let some few bad apples spoil the show.

All candidates are treated on an equal footing and people are free to make their choice. Some of those overzealous local leaders might misguidedly think that they are doing their preferred candidate a favour; they are not. They are instead bringing the whole electoral process into disrepute.

The police and the electoral commission should be commended for their swift action and should be on the lookout for similar incidents. Those found guilty should not be given any quarter but dealt with decisively as an example.

 

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