The United Democratic Front (UDF) has penned pollster the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) over the latter’s change of policy which, now, submits that parties will only have two monitors at the national policy centre at COMESA Hall in the commercial capital Blantyre and not the initially published ten.
In a communique published weeks ago, and signed by MEC chief elections officer, Sam Alfandika, each political party was expected to be “entitled to ten monitors.”
But, according to a letter by the party’s secretary general Kandi Padambo addressed to Alfandika, UDF writes that they noticed a change on the same when they were collecting their identity cards from the pollster.
“However, when we were collecting identity cards we were informed that contrary to the public notice, political parties are to have only two (2) exchangeable identity cards for access into the National Tally Centre or COMESA Hall,” reads part of the letter also copied to Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) executive director, Kizito Tenthani, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Harris Potani and Mr Munkhodya MEC’s media relations manager, deputy chief elections officer (operations) and director of electoral services respectively.
The UDF argue that the decision for the change is worrisome as it would impact negatively on the management of the elections.
“The decision, if indeed it was officially made, was not communicated to political parties. In addition the premise for such a position can not easily be appreciated given the required collaborative effort, on the part of political parties, when nationwide results and inevitable concomitant issues start coming in and being considered and analyzed at the National Tally Centre,” reads the letter.
It adds: “Restricting the number of monitors to two for each political party at any point in time at the National Tally Centre can only be compromising to the monitoring effectiveness of political parties.
“Moreover implementing such a unilateral decision on the eve of polling detracts from the commendable and confidence instilling consultative relationship that MEC nurtured and enjoyed with political parties throughout out the electoral cycle to date.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :