The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) would like to express its serious concerns with the delay in appointment of new Commissioners for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
As it is well known, the term of the old Commissioners expired on 18 May, 2016. It is also the case that the President assured the nation during his meeting with the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) on 21 April, 2016 that come 18 May, 2016, „the Malawi Electoral Commission would have new Commissioners and there would be no vacancy‟.
However, MESN has noted with worry that a week after the date that the President assured the Malawi nation that there will be new commissioners, they are yet to be appointed.
This development is very worrisome as it will affect preparations of the 2019 tripartite elections because legally there is no Commission in place at the moment to oversee the day to day affairs of the Commission and the electoral process.
MESN would like to call upon the President to exercise the powers conferred upon him by the Electoral Commission Act section 4(1) to appoint new Commissioners as a matter of urgency. MESN would also like to remind the President of the promise he made to the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and the people of Malawi that the new commissioners would be in office by 18 May, 2016 and there would be no vacancy in the offices of the Commissioners.
The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) recognizes the announcement by the Law Commission that it has appointed a special Law Commission to review the country’s electoral laws. MESN views the appointment as an important step in ensuring an inclusive process and a legal framework that promotes credible, genuine and democratic elections in Malawi.
MESN applauds the transparency in the announcement of the members CLICK THIS LINK TO READ THE FULL REPORT
The National Task Force on Electoral Reforms (NTER) has said all stakeholders wishing to get updates on the progress of the electoral reforms process should contact the Law Commission.
The Task Force has also said those wishing to get information about what it has gathered to date should check the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) website www.mesnmw.org and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) website www.mec.org.mw for the Electoral Reforms and Recommendations Paper.
To read more on the Statement, click the link below.
The National Task Force on Electoral Reforms was established in October 2014 after post-election review activities and reports of both local and international observers pointed out the need for electoral reforms in Malawi.
The Terms of Reference for the Task Force include:
The members of the Task Force are:
The Task Force is co-chaired by the Malawi Electoral Commission and the Malawi Electoral Support Network. Malawi Electoral Support Network also serves as the secretariat for the Task Force.
So far, the Task Force has held:
1 National Conference on Electoral Reforms
1 Technical Working Group Meeting
1 Expert Reference Group Meeting
1 Consultants’ Retreat to form a Consolidated Issues Paper
13 Task Force Meetings
Engagement Meetings with various elections stakeholders including political parties, traditional and faith leaders, civil society organisations and citizens. There have also been media outreach programmes through the radio, print, social and online media.
Recently, the National Task Force on Electoral Reforms officially handed over its individual reports to the Law Commission to begin a Law Reform Process.
Below is the link to the press statement on the official handover of Individual Reports to the Law Commission: