A task force organising the upcoming March 29 and April 5 presidential debate have announced that there were eight requirements, seven of which the candidates should fulfill to qualify in taking part.
Media Institute of South Africa (Misa) Malawi is organising the public debates with other electoral stakeholders.
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe on Monday, Misa-Malawi chairperson Tereza Ndanga said the requirements include that the candidates, party or coalition should have at least five percent of the 193 seats in the 2014 -2019 National Assembly of Malawi (Parliament), proven ability to field no less than 50 % of candidates in the member of parliament election proportionally distributed across all three regions of the country .
Ndanga said other requirement is that only candidate, party and coalition should have developed and publicly presented a policy platform or manifestos before the first debate.
She said the Presidential Debates gives Malawians an opportunity to examine presidential candidates before the polls on May 21, 2019.
“The debates, being organised by a multi-stakeholder taskforce, will be held at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) on March 29 and April 5, 2019 in both English and Chewa and moderated by a mature, professional and impartial Malawian,” she said.
The task force has also included representative of taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, private owned Zodiak TV and Times TV.
In his remarks, Times Media Group Editor-In-Chief George Kasakura said the requirements will ensure that they have serious contenders in the debate.
This will be the second time that the country is holding Presidential debates before the polls. The first ever Presidential Debates were held during the country’s first Tripartite Elections in 2014.
The 2019 Debates Taskforce Force believes that the 2019 debates will create a platform for the candidates to openly debate and commit to addressing several policy issues which they will be made to account for once elected into office.
The public have welcomed the debates but have observed that the running mates should have their first showdown.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :