Key democracy-promotion stakeholders, including international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the governance sector are expected to converge in Lilongwe from 27 August 2020 to review the current state of electoral reforms.
The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust is hosting the Consultative Meeting on Electoral Reforms in Malawi with financial support from the European Union (EU).
Initially, the meeting was susppsed to take place from August 6-7, 2020, in Lilongwe, but was shifted to 27 August 2020 date because of the prevailing environment of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to the concept of the symposium, the other stakeholders to be invited to attend the meeting including officials from the election management body, development aid agencies, African Union, representatives of political parties, members of Parliament, and the academia.
NICE executive director Ollen Mwalubunju told Nyasa Times on Sunday that the meeting will take stock of progress, challenges, lessons, and emerging issues that require reforms since constitutional review in 2007 to introduction of electoral bills in parliament in 2017, the announcement of Constitutional Court ruling and holding of the Fresh Presidential Elections.
“Specifically, the meeting intends to achieve the following objectives are to enhance and initiate electoral reforms engagement between a wide range of key stakeholders in governance sector and government, review the electoral reforms process and outcomes that have happened over time since the Constitutional Review in 2006 and review and identify critical areas for electoral reforms and build a critical mass for further engagement with appropriate authorities,” said Mwalubunju.
He added that the symposium will consolidate key areas for electoral reforms advocacy agenda and develop a plan of action for further engagement and identity multi-stakeholder leadership that will steer the electoral reforms agenda forward.
“By the end of the meeting, we want to see a wide range of key stakeholders from Government, civil society, academia, business, and citizens being mobilised and engaged on the electoral reforms’ advocacy agenda; electoral reforms that emerged from Constitutional and Supreme Court are mapped out and consolidated and relevant electoral reforms from both the Constitutional review process (2007), and 2017 Electoral Bills are reviewed,” he explained.
Participants to the meeting are also expected to reconstitute the National Task for the Electoral Reforms Advocacy.
Meanwhile, Mwalubunju has emphasized that NICE will ensure that the meeting is done in full observance and adherence to public prevention measures for fighting coronavirus disease (Covid-19) that the government is rolling out.
Among other things, the meeting will provide personal protective equipment to participants, and ensure that the venue is spacious to ensure that physical and social distancing is enforced.
An outdoor conference facility will be prioritized. The meeting will also be live streamed through NICE Trust social media pages.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :