The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has expressed its commitment to roll out electoral reforms starting this year during the November by-elections.
MEC made the commitment when it signed a communique on resolutions on non-legislative reforms together with Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) and Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD).
The reforms have been championed by MESN and includes strategic changes aimed at improving delivery of election day materials, improving management and transmission of election results, strengthening voter education and voter information, and facilitating voter registration and verification of voters.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lilongwe, MEC commissioner Jean Mathanga said the electoral body will start implementing some of the reforms during the November by-elections which will be held in various parts of the country.
Mathanga added that MEC has an action plan that will guide the body in implementing the reforms. “In order to improve the efficiency where election management is concerned it was agreed upon that we come up with communique so that as electoral management body we should be checked upon.
“We came up with an action plan and as electoral commission we will be checked against that so as we go along we will make sure that we stick to the plan but should we come across any challenges during the implementation we will quickly alert the stakeholders,” said Mathanga.
On his part MESN Chairperson Steve Duwa said his organisation and other stakeholders are expecting improvements in administration of future elections now that MEC has signed the communique.
“The administration of elections is the responsibility of the electoral commission and with the commitment it means we should be expecting a better way [of managing the elections] not the chaotic way it was in 2014,” said Duwa.
He added that they also expect MEC to implement some of the reforms during the November by-elections.
One of the changes to be immediately implemented is the delivery of sensitive election day materials at district councils four days before polling day.