In preparation for the May 20 tripartite elections, Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has embarked on a series of training workshops for Long Term Observers (LTOs).
Long term observation refers to the systematic process over a period of time prior to, and after an election to assess different aspects of the electoral process in order to provide an independent evaluation of its fairness.
This process enables election observer groups to make an objective assessment of the environment under which the elections are held.
Long Term Observation exercise is one of the several observation efforts being used by MESN to collect data on electoral activities in the electoral calendar leading up to May 20 Tripartite Elections. These activities include nomination process, inspection of interim voters register and political campaigns.
Opening a two-day training workshop for Master of Trainers for the Long Term Observation on Thursday in Blantyre, MESN chairperson Steve Duwa challenged the trainers to have confidence in themselves as they train observers across the country to ensure that they [the observers) collect data with accuracy and reliability.
“As trainers, we expect you to have confidence in yourself and in what you are doing. MESN also expect you to fully understand the concepts you will come across during the training.
“As MESN we have a reputation in Malawi, regionally and globally when it comes to elections and governance issues. It is our wish to sustain this reputation through and in the manner we are going to implement our programs for the tripartite elections. Because you are representing MESN and we need to maintain high level of competence, we expect you do a good job during and after this training,” said Duwa.
The data collected by the observers will help MESN to assess whether the conditions for a free and fair elections exist ahead of 2014 elections among others..–MESN