Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has finally bowed down to pressure from various political parties in extending deadline for submission of names of monitors and observers during the fourthcoming watershed elections.
According to a statement issued on Saturday, the period has been extended to April 15 2019, from March 1 2019.
“This follows a request by some political parties that they needed more time to identify and recruit monitors who can effectively monitor the electoral process” reads a statement seen by Nyasa Times.
This follows a request from major political parties, namely the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM, People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF), a not so common unity given the tension that is always there, who jointly wrote MEC to consider the extension.
MEC wrote: “Stakeholders are advised that there shall be no further extension to this new deadline as the commission also requires adequate time to process the accreditations.”
The statement, signed by MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika, says only political parties and independent candidates contesting in the elections would be allowed to place monitors in polling streams and tally centres.
“Parties and independent candidates shall also be allowed to place up to four monitors for the District Council Offices and the names should be submitted to the MEC district offices,” reads the statement.
The electoral body also advises civil society organisations (CSOs) which will place observers at polling centres to submit names to MEC district offices.
All roving observers that will be stationed within a constituency should also have their names submitted to MEC district offices. All roving observers from outside the constituency should have their IDs processed by the MEC head office.