The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has lamented the exclusion of vulnerable groups from the special law commission which will review the country’s electoral laws.
According to MESN, people with disabilities have been omitted and there is underrepresentation of women and the youth in the commission. MESN also want more civil society organizations to be included.
In a statement signed by MESN board Chairperson Steven Duwa and made available to Malawi24, the organization called for the inclusion of people with disabilities in reviewing the electoral laws.
“Electoral laws must not continue to exclude the disabled from actively participating in the electoral process. The lack of representation on this important body may result in issues affecting this group not to being sufficiently addressed,” reads part of the statement.
The statement further pointed out the need to include more women and the youth in the commission arguing that young people form the largest group of Malawi’s population but have the least amount of representation in the special Law Commission.
MESN also observed that some institutions and organisations have been overrepresented, in particular, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and the Centre for Multi party Democracy (CMD).
However, MESN has applauded the transparency in the announcement of the members of the special Law Commission in the media and hopes that this openness will be maintained as a characteristic throughout the review process of the electoral laws.
After the first ever tripartite election held in 2014, many Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) called for a review of the electoral laws.