The European Union (EU) Observation Mission to Malawi Tripartite Election has deployed 24 long-term observers throughout the country for the May 21 2019 watershed election.
The electoral observation mission’s core team consisting of eight analysts arrived in Blantyre on April 4 and the 28 long-term observers joined them mid this month.
According to Stevens, the observers are expected to help in analysis of the electoral process that will aid them in coming up with a general assessment before issuing a preliminary report on their overall assessment two days later.
Before their deployment, the observers were briefed on electoral background, political environment and other issues.
However, European Union election observer team has expressed disappointment over government failure to implement crucial electoral laws which the EU advised Malawi to do.
EU election observer team deputy chief Mark Stevens said Malawi has lost an opportunity to legislate the electoral laws which would have enhanced the quality of election in the country.
“This was a missed opportunity,” said Stevens at a press briefing but was happy that during this election, the country has gone biometric and that tally centres will be at each constituency.
Opposition parties and other stakeholders wanted parliament to pass the 50+ electoral law which could have seen a president winning an election after amassing over 50 of the vote cast.
The government rejected the bill in parliament last year.
President Peter Mutharika got a mere 36 per cent of the vote cast mainly from his home area of the lhomwe belt.
The new electoral laws would also allow only people with a batchelors degree to vie for the presidency.
Stevens also said that there are currently 20 election observers under the EU but the numbers would swell up to 80 as the election nears.
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika will battle it out with his deputy Saulos Chilima who is standing on UTM Party , former leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera of MCP and UDF presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi as main contenders.
The last known major and credible survey on possible voting patterns for the May 21 elections by Institute for Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) put Mutharika neck-to-neck with Chakwera while Chilima was not far off in third. The survey was conducted when Chilima’s UTM Party was barely two months old and Atupele Muluzi had not cleafrly indicated contesting the polls.
New opinion survey results are set to be released.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :