MEC drills Malawi police officers ahead of voter registration

As the country prepares for kick off  registration of the first ever Tripartite Elections, Malawi Electoral Commission organized a one-day training for police officers on registration.

The training was held Kalikuti Hotel on Thursday, June 27 and drew participants from various policing districts in the country who will be training others.

Opening the workshop, Commissioner Bernard Malango said security was an integral part for elections and could not be compromised.

“During the little time you will be here, you will be taken through several aspects of elections management so that you have knowledge of how elections are conducted and see how you fit in as security authorities,” he said.

Commissioner Bishop Malango franked by Commisioner Stanlel Billiati (centre) and HarrisPotani (left).
Commissioner Bishop Malango franked by Commisioner Stanlel Billiati (centre) and HarrisPotani (left).

The training covered rights and freedoms of voters, political parties, role of monitors, international observers and the media.

Archbishop Emeritus Malango observed that if the security officers knew the rights these persons have, they could not infringe on them.

“Sometimes a security officer can infringe on the right of media, observers, monitors and any other stakeholder, in the spirit of enforcing security,” he said.

Commissioner Malango emphasized that it was not the role of the security officers to assist people to vote especially those that need help to do so like the visually impaired.

“We have had complaints in the past that police officers were seen in the ballot booth assisting voters how to vote. It is actually illegal for any security officer to assist voters in voting.

“The law is very clear that if a voter needs assistance, the presiding officer alone should be the one assisting such a person. It is not the responsibility of a security officer to assist voters how to vote on the polling day,” he said.

Malawi Electoral Commission has announced that it will conduct a fresh register and everyone will need to register whether they registered in the past or not.

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