A delegation of eight members from the Lesotho Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to jet into Malawi to horn skills on voter education and network building.
A statement released by Malawi Electoral Commission says the delegation will be in Malawi from 06th to 11th April, 2015 and will be headed by its chairperson who is a retired Chief Justice, Mahapela Lehohla.
Ironically the visit Lesotho held its Parliamentary elections on February 28 this year while Malawi had its last Tripartite Elections in May 2014.
Asked if there is anything that Malawi can show off to the visitors considering the challenges that were faced during the May 2014 Tripartite Elections, MEC spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa said there were some achievements which others can learn from.
“When we started preparations for Tripartite Elections many stakeholders expressed fears that there will be a lot of null and void votes because it was a new kind of elections and it would be difficult for many Malawians to vote rightly.
“But if you look at the statistics, the percentage of null and void votes dropped from 2.54 during the 2009 general elections to 1.09 in the Tripartite Elections. This means voter educations achieved the goals and definitely any electoral management body would want to learn from that,” he said.
Mwafulirwa also mentioned that for the 2014, MEC had to construct a new voter’s roll which required everyone to go again and register and managed to managed to register 95 percent of the targeted 8 million voters.
“Challenges faced were to do with operations, we did some recommendable work on civic and voters education and achieved commendable statistics which many countries fail to attain. We also had a 70.1 percent turnout for the polls,” he explained.
During their stay the members will meet with MEC officials who will brief them on various voter education strategies that were used during the 2014 Tripartite Elections. They will also be briefed on the electoral processes.
Thereafter members will pay visits to selected accredited Civil Society Organizations that took part in civic and voter education exercise during the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
At the end of their tour, the members shall have a field visit to one of the constituencies within the country for a lesson learning and experience drawing on how civic and voter education is done.
This will be the second time after the May 2014 Tripartite Elections that the Malawi Electoral Commission is hosting visitors from other Electoral Management Bodies. In June 2014, the Commission also hosted a delegation from Uganda on a study tour with special focus on voter education.
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