Chilima supports relocation of MEC headquarters

Vice President Saulos Chilima has expressed support for the proposal to move Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) headquarters from Blantyre to Lilongwe.

MEC chairperson Chifundo Kachale and his management team presented the proposal to Chilima during a meeting on Monday.

Chilima and Kachale during the meeting

The Vice President said the government is committed to supporting the relocation of the commission’s head office from Blantyre to Lilongwe because it would reduce operational costs by 30 percent.

During the meeting, participants also talked about the reforms MEC is undertaking to ensure that future elections are conducted in an efficient and professional manner.

Chilima noted that the presentation by the MEC chairperson was both comprehensive and insightful. He added that once implemented, the electoral and institutional reforms will radically change the way elections are conducted in this country.

“For instance, apart from proposed harmonization of electoral laws and legislating the consequential directions given by the High Court in the Presidential election nullification case, MEC is working on legal reforms that would lead to the commission’s operational independence and financial autonomy as well as provide clarity on appointment or removal of Commissioners.

“I was particularly interested in the reform area to automate some of MEC’s core electoral activities as this would eventually lead to creation of voting or voter registration systems that are efficient, effective and foolproof,” said Chilima.

The Vice President has since asked MEC for a roadmap clearly stating timelines, budgets and specific individuals to drive particular reform areas.