Commonwealth calls for credible election: Observes arrive in Malawi

An observation mission from the Commonwealth group of nations has arrived in Malawi ahead of next week Tuesday’s tripartite elections.

Former Vice President of Botswana, Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe isl eading the Commonwealth Observer Group.

said the Commonwealth will observe elections in Malawi following  an invitation from the  Electoral Commission.

“These elections will consolidate the democratic process in Malawi,” the Secretary-General said

Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-GeneraL: Elections should be credible
Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-GeneraL: Elections should be credible

“Conducting credible elections where citizens can choose their leaders and representatives freely in a peaceful environment is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy and is a collective strength ofCommonwealth member states. The Commonwealth will be present to witness and observe the elections and to work in partnership with Malawi towards strengthening and embedding good practice.”

Sharma added: “The responsibility for conducting elections with integrity falls on all stakeholders in the process—from the election management body, to political parties and their leaders, to civil society, security agencies, the media and the voters. Each and every one has a rightful role to ensure a credible process and outcome.”

The observer group will consider the pre-electoral environment and election preparations.

On Election Day, it will observe the voting process, vote-counting procedures and the announcement of results, in the light of international standards for democratic elections, to which the country has committed.

As with all Commonwealth observer groups, this mission will function impartially and independently, and will conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

This observer mission to Malawi follows a Commonwealth observer mission in South Africa during that country’s elections last week.

Martin Kasirye, Head of the Democracy Section in the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Political Affairs Division, will lead a Secretariat team that will support the observers.

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