31 October 2016 Last updated at: 1:18 PM
MESN calls for electoral reforms in November by-elections
The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has called for implementation of reforms by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the November 1 by-elections to ensure transparency and accountability.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the training of election monitors, MESN chairperson Steve Duwa said they will deploy 25 people to monitor the by-elections in Mchinji, Kasungu, Zomba, Dedza and Lilongwe to enhance transparency and accountability in the process of casting votes.
According to Duwa, the observers will among others be observing if the reforms in the election process are being implemented.
“These monitors will be observing if the results are counted stream by stream as agreed with the Electoral Commission unlike in the past where all results from streams were counted together. This will ensure transparency since each stream will have separate results that will be added together with the results from the other streams at the end of the elections,” said Duwa.
“The results should also be written in both figures and words so that people will not be able to change figures,” added Duwa.
He further said that monitors will also be observing if all equipment’s that are to be used in the election process are available at the polling station in good time.
“During 2014 Tripartite Elections some polling stations were delayed to start the elections process due to inadequate or even unavailability of equipment. MESN is advocating for non-legislative electoral reforms which are aimed at improving elections in the country from now and beyond,” said Duwa.
MESN’s mission is to strengthen genuine democratic electoral processes and promote citizens in democratic governance in Malawi with aim of attaining a vibrant nation that effectively participates in elections and democratic governance. It ensures the participation of citizens in democratic governance through civic and voter education, non-partisan election monitoring, research and documentation, electoral reforms, advocacy and capacity building of civil society in democracy, elections and governance.