In a public announcement made on July 21, the National Election Committee (NEC) appealed to all political parties, candidates, political party representatives, supporters and media outlets to immediately suspend all political activities from 10pm on July 21 until 12 midnight of July 23, the election day.
This call to action aligns with the stipulations outlined in the election law, which mandates a quiet period, devoid of campaign activities, that extends 24 hours prior to the day of the election.
The intent of this quiet period is to provide voters with an opportunity to contemplate their choices without the influence of campaign rhetoric or political pressure.
In its statement, the NEC emphasised the imperative for all the aforementioned entities to strictly abide by the election law, as well as the additional election rules, procedures and ethical guidelines.
The NEC also extended its call to the local law enforcement authorities, urging them to cooperate with the NEC and the election commissions at various levels to maintain security and public order during this critical phase of the electoral process.
In its statement, the NEC asserted: "Stringent measures must be implemented to prevent and curb all activities and phenomena that are intended to undermine the integrity of the election. The use of any fraudulent means that prevent people from voting, cause misunderstanding, result in a loss of confidence in the electoral process, or disrupt the counting of ballots must be rigorously counteracted”.
The NEC expressed confidence and optimism that all stakeholders would heed the call and contribute to a fair and equitable electoral process.
The campaign period, which lasted from July 1-21, unfolded smoothly, characterized by its safety, security, orderliness and an absence of violence. This positive momentum is expected to continue into the quiet period and the elections that follow, it said.