Malawi Electoral Commission considers extending dispute handling to constituency levels

One of the commissioners at Malawi Electoral Commission Rev, Emmanuel Chinkwita-Phiri has expressed the need to extend the structures of the Multiparty Liaison Committees (MPLCs) to the constituency and ward levels to ease possible pressure of complaint handling at district levels during the forthcoming tripartite elections.

In his speech during the presentation of assessment report on MPLCs training on Tuesday at Victoria hotel in the commercial capital Blantyre Chinkwita-Phiri said as everybody is aware that elections are an emotive issue, it would be prudent to expand structures that would handle electoral dispute.

“Although it is clear that only one person emerges a winner, nobody goes into elections to lose. As such many complaints which are filed with the Commission in some instances with the courts will end ends there,” he said.

Chinkwita: Commission wants to deliver credible elections
Chinkwita: Commission wants to deliver credible elections

The Commissioner said efforts to achieve credible elections can easily be undermined, if MPLCs are unable to discharge their roles effectively adding that  holding credible elections is not just about the electoral budget or the electoral calendar, but also well-trained people.

“It was in realization of this that the Commission with support from the European Union DGP conducted pilot trainings for MPLCs to equip them with skills and knowledge on conflict management whose assessment results we are getting today,”

Chinkwita-Phiri said if elections are well managed at all levels, it greatly contributes to the elections to be judged as free, fair and credible.

“To that effect, the Commission will do everything possible to ensure that MPLCs are functioning effectively at all times and that capacity gaps that affect their performance are addressed.”

He thanked the European Union for “being a very good helper” to the Commission by supporting financially most of the preparatory activities by the Commission for the 2014 Tripartite Elections.

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