MEC to invite foreign observers for Malawi fresh poll despite shameful role in tippex election

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah has extended invitation to foreign election observers to monitor this year’s crucial fresh presidential election despite that they praised May 2019 dodgy elections which were nullified by the court.

Ansah: Extend invitations to both local and international observers
EU Elections observers

The hordes of international election observers – including European Union, Commonwealth and African Union – who descended on Malawi during last year’s tippexed polls pronounced the election free and fair, bar a few mild criticisms.

But speaking in Mangochi during the second National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting— which drew together political party representatives and electoral stakeholders, Ansah said they will invite foreign and local observers to participate in the fresh presidential election earmarked for July 2 2020.

“To guarantee transparency and credibility of the process, every political party and candidate shall have the right to monitor each phase of the electoral process. They shall do so through designated representatives,” said Ansah during Necof which was held to share activities the electoral body has planned following the launch of the elections last Tuesday in Blantyre.

“The Commission shall also extend invitations to both local and international observers,” she said.

UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, who successfully challenge  the May 2019 elections in court have been critical of foreign election observers.

“For international observers, if what they are going to continue to do is election tourism, we should scrap it. It is no better than a cartel protecting each other. But if we want to continue with them, let’s redefine their role. It should not be a tick-the-box exercise,” Chilima said when unanimous decision by all five judges of the constitution court On February 3  ordered that fresh elections be held within 150 days.

July 2, the designated polling day for fresh elections will be the 149th day as ordered by court.

Chakwera is equally critical about what foreign election observer missions do.

“They scratch the surface, and yet they think they know what they are doing. Almost like an exercise in futility and all they want to do is maintain the status quo and find excuses for things that are going wrong and are actually pushing the country deeper in the mire. This thing could have been arrested a long time ago. If it had not been for the court, we would have continued without change, and these missions would keep recommending the same things over and over again,” he said.

According to a report by Greg Mills when heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation, the problem is that observer missions with personnel who have other commitments and limited budgets, leave the scene after voting and criticism by the opposition of dodgy counting is dismissed as the whingeing of sore losers.

“It takes a court ruling such as that of Malawi’s constitutional judges to demonstrate how shallow and toothless the election observers were. They played their role in conferring legitimacy and then left Malawians to deal with the mess,” Mills wrote in his report.

He argues that the Constitutional Court ruling should be a lesson in humility for observers, and a message to replace political observation with technical monitoring.

The European Union’s Election Observation Mission had 83 observers in the nullified polls reporting from 342 polling stations in 27 of the 28 districts of Malawi.

Their finding, released on the day of the election, 21 May 2019, makes for astonishing reading. The statement was released under the headline: “Well-managed, inclusive, transparent and competitive elections, but the campaign was marked by tensions and an unlevel playing field.”

The EU went on to state: “The process was largely well organised by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and voting on election day was well-managed.”

Perhaps most astonishing of all were the comments of Chief Observer, Miroslav Poche, who went so far as to say: “Of particular note was the improved integrity of the voter register, a revised and public election calendar and the creation of constituency tally centres.”

Equally out of touch was the Commonwealth Observer Group led by the former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

Mbeki, heading a group of “12 eminent persons” from across the Commonwealth, heaped praise on the election after votes were cast, saying it had been handled with “professionalism and dedication”.

Both the EU and Commonwealth pronouncements were made after voting, but before tallying had been completed.

Arnold Tsunga the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SAHRDN) argues that foreign observer ”need to invest in observing the entire electoral cycle.”

He said the international observation missions’ methods require a significant overhaul.

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mutyhoriache
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mutyhoriache

We dont need any International observers like Mbeke in this Country and they will be welcomed with stones this time. Whoever invited them is shit. We want fresh elections with new mec and not ruse people like Kunje, Anash etc. Kodi mvuta lake ndichiyani iyeyo Jane. Kodi getrude ukuwona mmene munthu amalandira banja?Samala mphanga.

nompumelelo khuzwayo
Guest

idiots in the name of “electoral tourists”.

lima
Guest

What is wrong with this woman? is she death?

Mr. Ibu
Guest
Mr. Ibu

This woman cannot be serious especially at this time when corona is spreading in many parts of the world. I guess she wants to have blood in her hands.

Chilipa Thako
Guest

Ha ha ha ha ha h Inu a opposition ndi hrdc wanuyo chomwe simukuona ndi chiyani ? milungu ya Baal ndi yomwe ikukutsekani maso kuti musaone ukulu wa Mulungu ?Jane Ansah mumamupangira ma demo uja sameneyu munamulepheratu . Nthawi yoti chilombo chanu chituluke m’nyanja siinakwane chifukwa bala la ku imfa lija silinapole komanso nyanga khumi zija sizinakwane yatsala nyanga imodzi ya mwano imene iti idzakwaniritse nthawi yawoyo kwathu kuno ku Malawi ,ndi chifukwa chake yalola kukhala watsatira wa mtsogoleri wa otsutsa chifukwa ikudikira nthawi yake kuti ikwane werengani buku la chibvumbulutso ndipo nthawi yake ikadzakwana idzakhala tsogoleri ndi iyoyo mudzangodziwa… Read more »

Omex70
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Omex70

Awanso alibe ndi manyazi omwe. Osamagwiritsa ntchito Baibulo musakulidziwa nkomwe. U kadeti wakupwetekani bamboo. Tere simukuona kuti dzanja lalemba? Tere tiona komwe mulowere nawo ukadeti wanuwo chikachitika chisankho chikudzachi.

Chakwe
Guest
Chakwe

Jane Ansah should be proud that the people criticising her have not said they were irregularities in the parliamentary and local government elections that is 2 of the 3 polls held last year. This is an indication that it is not true that she did not run the presidential elections well. She run all the polls well and let her stay put and know we support her.

Munthu
Guest
Munthu

Instead of MEC running the elections, let OAU employ and train Africans to conduct fair elections in all its member states. This would help to eliminate tribal politics.

Banda
Guest
Banda

Oh please! OAU is no longer there. We now have AU which can’t run an election. The corona-virus make it even worse and countries are minding their own countries – health care, economies etc. They have no time helping with a useless election which Malawi does not need.

Kennedy
Guest
Kennedy

I can see those eating in the same dirty plate with Dpp criminals, they are busy praising failed Mec and its team of corruption. Time is coming, wamuyaya walinkhu sono?

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

You are right. All evil minded people are siding with MEC and Ansah.

CRIMINAL MINDED
Guest
CRIMINAL MINDED

Auntie Madando please we don’t need you and your climinals partners so called international observers​ all of you have masseds up our elections and now here we are!! So you started its again ? please leave the job for others who can handle it professionally not you , you have already showed us your true colours so Malawians do not need you may you can needs them for sure they don’t need you anymore so pave the way for others to do the needful​ jobs for better malawi not your selfish and greedy habits you have please you are not… Read more »

Gugu
Guest
Gugu

Auntie Madando (Jane Ansah) managed excellent Parliamentary and Local government elections. She did well with presidential elections too but some power hungry fools went and bribed judges to overturn the results. None of those power hungry idiots including the corrupt judges have said that the parliamentary elections had irregularities even though they were run by the same MEC and Jane Ansah.

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

@Gugu between you and those who went to court to seek just who is a fool? If you are failing to understand that the presidential election was marred by a lot of irregularities that made the court to nullify it are you not a fool?

Mbunawachi
Guest
Mbunawachi

I see no reason why Jane Ansah is still on the Chair together with her team. Only their faces if you deeply look at them you see that they are shy and you cannot want to look at them anymore. To the truth of the matter they indeed received money for someone to be appointed.My simple questions are; Jane did you retire also at the Court which makes you fail to return to the Organization. Why is your team given a permanent motor vehicles -the Prados or Txs. If at all you retired at the Court what is the problem… Read more »

Bright
Guest
Bright

Ma observer achani? Atibweretsere Corona? We don’t need them. Besides, the same observers who said our previous elections were credible yet the concours nullified them. Nooooo to international observers!!!!

POLITICAL PROPER GANDA
Guest
POLITICAL PROPER GANDA

Mukuti kutsata malamulo against munthu (katakwe)paza malamulo.Muzizitsata zochitikazi bwino lomwe.Ma scholar enawa amaonekela mbali mmalo momalongosola mmene zilili kuti anthu azidziwa zenizeni zake,zipweteke zisangalatse mbali zonse

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