Malawi invites poll observers to monitor May 20 elections

Malawi’s Electoral Commission has officially invited is inviting foreign poll observers to join the local observers to monitor the May 20 presidential, legislative and local elections, a spokesperson for the electoral body has said.

MEC spokesman Sangwani Mwafulirwa said foreign poll monitors are being allowed  for Malawi’s first ever tripartite election  and that advance teams from international poll observer groups now in Malawi include the African Union, the Institute of Sustainable Democracy in Africa the SADC [Southern African Development Community] Electoral Commission’s Forum, and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

“I am glad to say that among the whole list of those we have written to, some have shown positive interest and they have even sent advance teams just to do the fact-finding mission and doing their assessment, and some of them have got intentions to deploy long-term missions,” said Mwafulirwa on Voice of America (VOA).

Mwafulirwa:  Poll observers invited to monitor Malawi  ballot
Mwafulirwa: Poll observers invited to monitor Malawi ballot

He told VOA that some international observers who have expressed interest in monitoring the election are in the country to monitor political activities in the run up to the general election.

“We haven’t had any problems with these observers. They came on a fact finding mission and they have been interacting with the Malawi Electoral Commission staff and commissioners. Apart from that, they have also met with various electoral stakeholders, which have included the civil society and the political parties just to get facts on the  preparations for the 20th May elections,” said Mwafulirwa.

In the presidential race, incumbent Joyce Banda faces challenge from UDF leader Atupele Muluzi, DPP president Peter Mutharika and MCP’s Lazarous Chakwera.

But there are seven other political lightweight candidates for the presidency.

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