No UTM, UDF monitors in 2020 elections

UTM and the United Democratic Front (UDF) will not be allowed to place monitors in the 2020 fresh presidential elections.

According to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) guidelines for placement of party representatives (monitors) and observers in the 2020 election, only political parties contesting in the elections are allowed to place party representatives.

MEC says for candidates whose party have alliance partners, it is the party sponsoring the candidate that should submit names.

“No partner party should submit names directly to MEC. Even the party representatives coming from the alliance partners will be accredited under the name of the political party of the candidate,” the commission said in a statement.

UTM and UDF fielded candidates in the now nullified 2019 elections and had monitors for the polls.

For the 2020 elections, UDF joined forces with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) while UTM formed the Tonse Alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

DPP-UDF alliance’s candidate is President Peter Mutharika with UDF’s Atupele Muluzi as runningmate. The Tonse Alliance is led by MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera with UTM president Saulos Chilima as runningmate.

But MEC recognizes Chakwera as MCP candidate and Mutharika as DPP candidate. This means the MCP and the DPP will be allowed to send names of monitors directly to MEC.

The other candidate in the 2020 presidential elections is Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku.

According to MEC, each contesting political party shall be allowed to place up to two representatives per polling station (formerly called stream), who shall alternate.

“Every contesting political party shall be allowed to place two Party Representatives for each constituency at the District Tally Centre. The two representatives shall also alternate. The IDs will be processed by MEC District Elections Office and only names will need to be submitted.

“All contesting political parties will be allowed up to 10 Party Representatives for the Main Tally Centre to be located in Blantyre,” the commission said.

MEC added that Roving Party Representatives will not be allowed for this election to ensure security of the polling and counting processes.

“All party representatives or observers will NOT be allowed to vote at any polling station other than where they are registered. Therefore, parties and institutions are encouraged to allocate representatives and observers to polling stations where they registered or close to where they registered so that they can also vote,” the commission said.