Malawi Electoral Commission foresees sucessful tripartite elections

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said it is determined and geared to ensure that the 2014 tripartite elections should be a yard stick to other countries.

MEC Chairperson, Justice Maxon Mbendera, SC, made the remarks Wednesday in Kasungu during a public hearing on ward demarcation.

Parliament last month passed the Tripartite Elections Bill to provide for holding of Local Government Polls concurrently with Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2014.

“As a Commission we are determined and geared to do our best so that the 2014 tripartite elections are the best ever and a model to other countries,” said Justice Mbendera.

Justice Mbendera: We will do our best

He disclosed that the Commission is using a consultative approach to the management of polls to ensure public participation and earn the commission public trust.

He said the public hearing on ward demarcation in the district was one of the series of consultative meetings which the commission has lined up to solicit public views towards the success of tripartite elections.

Meanwhile Justice Mbendera announced that the Electoral Commission is currently holding discussions with various stakeholders who he said are recommending amendment of the Electoral Commission Amendment Act of 2010 on ward demarcation.

The law prescribes two wards for each constituency and for municipalities of Luchenza and Kasungu the law says the total number of wards should not exceed five.

Mbendera hinted that the law is likely to be amended during the next seating of Parliament scheduled in February 2013.

“The re-demarcation reduced the total number of wards in the country from the previous 861 to 444. We anticipate that the number of wards in the country will increase once the current law is amended,” said Mbendera.

However, he said due to austerity budget which government is pursuing the Commission will only create additional centres only in special cases as determined on case-by-case basis.

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