Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has given a vote of no confidence in Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn), describing the civil society organisation’s (CSO) conduct during the 2014 and May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections as deplorable by endorsing them as credible and successful when they were not.
MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka expressed his party’s sentiments during the second National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting— which drew together political party representatives and electoral stakeholders held in Mangochi on Friday — challenging Mesn’s conduct in the elections.
Mesn put up parallel voter tally centres for both elections, whose results supported Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) findings.
But following a Constitution Court (ConCourt) ruling that nullified the election having found MEC’s handling of the presidential election flawed with blatant irregularities and disregard of electoral laws, MCP argued that Mesn endorsement as questionable.
When Mesn chairperson Steve Duwa rose to speak, Mkaka interrupted him, saying: “We have completely lost trust and confidence in you Mr Duwa and the entire civil society organisations (CSOs) which took charge in monitoring the past elections.
“You are a big joke. In 2014 you authenticated the results as credible and again in 2019 you did the same. But when we contested the 2019 results, the ConCourt disapproved them. This is why we don’t want you again in these imminent elections.”
He challenged the organisation to explain the criteria it uses to certify the elections.
The MCP secretary general said his party values the critical role CSOs and electoral stakeholders play during elections as they help chef fraud and irregularities, but that what Mesn does is the opposite of the CSOs expected role.
However, Duwa who had initially risen to ask MEC the strategies it has put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus amid election preparations, kept quiet.
It was only later during an interface that he dismissed Mkaka’s sentiments.
Said Duwa: “First of all, let me say that Mr Mkaka is entitled to his opinion. However, I am disappointed with him because he is supposed to be dispassionate and not emotional.”
Asked if he will back off from the elections following the warning, Duwa said Mkaka has no mandate to stop CSOs from taking monitoring roles during elections.
“We are mandated to assume a big role in the electoral process and that’s why we are here,” he said, challenging Mkaka to file complaints if he has.
Critical issue during Necof which was held to share activities the electoral body has planned following the launch of the elections last Tuesday in Blantyre, was whether to postpone the fresh presidential election or not due to coronavirus threat.
Meanwhile, the electoral stakeholders gave MEC the go ahead with the election preparations pending the consultations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :