MEC sets March 1 as deadline for submission of election monitors

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has set March 1 2019 as the last day for receiving names and photographs of election  monitors for accreditation from political parties  and candidates that are contesting in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Mwafulirwa reminded all contesting political parties and candidates to send their monitors

This is according to an emailed notice issued by the MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa .

According to the communication, MEC has also said that it will limit the number of monitors   that each political party and candidate can field to two per constituency  tally center to avoid unnecessary congestion.

“The resolution of the Commission is that only candidates and political parties contesting the election will have their representatives accredited as monitors. Every party or independent candidate will be allowed only two monitors at the Constituency Tally Centre. This is to avoid congestion at the centre because in most cases TDCs and these are usually small,”  reads the  communication in part.

MEC  has  further asked  non-state actors  to  also submit  the names of their electoral monitors for proper accreditation  to  be allowed to monitor the elections  from the polling stations  by same March 1.

According to Mwafulirwa, the political parties and independent  presidential candidate in this year’s elections  will be allowed to provide a maximum of four monitors  at the District Council offices while MEC will allow for the political parties and independent presidential candidate to provide up to 10 officials to monitors the elections from the  National Tally Centre, Chichiri  International Conference Centre in Blantyre.

The MEC Spokesperson, further explained, in an interview, that election monitoring is one way of dispelling the rumours of rigging that some politicians are propagating and ensuring that the nation attains credible elections.

“On polling day there will be  two registers; one for polling staff and the other for monitors.  The monitors will also be checking that,  whoever  comes to vote , their face is the same as the one in the voter register,” Mwafulirwa explained.

During the voter registration  exercise for  the May 21 Tripartite elections,  only a handful of the  country’s political parties stationed monitors at all voter registration centres a situation which MEC blamed for fueling rumours  and suspicion in the electoral process.

Meanwhile, political parties  in the Northern Region have already committed to comply to MEC’s  March 1  deadline for submission of  names of monitors.

The Democratic Progressive Party  (DPP)’s Regional Governor  Kenneth Sanga affirmed the  DPP’s  readiness to provide the names of the monitors   before the deadline.

“As DPP, we are ready,  we will submit the monitors as required on the 1st of March , what we will do now is to advise our Constituency Governors on the monitor. And on the 21st of May[Polling Day] we will provide the monitors with what they need  in terms of food  and all the requirements as we always do,”Sanga said.

On its part, the Malawi Congress Party  (MCP)  through its  spokesperson  Reverend Maurice Munthali  said the party is currently   scrutinizing potential monitors to ensure that only informed  members of the Party are recruited for election  monitoring.

Munthali also called for tolerance and patriotism among those that will be selected to monitor the elections for MCP.

“As Malawi Congress Party we are prepared  that by the date required for submission of the names of monitors, we would have done our homework.

“We may not have the funds readily available, but we are asking for members of the party to support this and also for those who will become monitors to give themselves and work with patriotism and dedication  because this is a national service,”  Munthali said.

Pressure, tension and excitement is mounting in Malawi’s political parties as the Nation draws close to the Country’s second Tripartite Election since the dawn of multi-party democracy.

Nine candidates  including leader of opposition Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima,  former president Dr. Joyce Banda, President Peter Mutharika and Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi  are expected to battle for the vote to become  Malawi’s  next president.


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