News / Africa

    Malawi Electoral Chief Promises Credible Elections

    FILE - An elderly woman casts her vote in Malawi's general election in Machinga district, north of the commercial capital, Blantyre.
    FILE - An elderly woman casts her vote in Malawi's general election in Machinga district, north of the commercial capital, Blantyre.
    Peter Clottey
    The chairman of Malawi’s Electoral Commission (MEC) says the electoral body is fully prepared to administer the country’s first tripartite elections scheduled for Tuesday.

    Over 7 million prospective Malawian voters registered to vote in the presidential, legislative and local elections.

    Justice Maxon Mbendera says ballot papers and other materials needed for the election have been distributed nationwide in readiness for the elections. He vowed the vote will be transparent, and credible that would meet international standards.

    “We are ready to administer these elections,” said Mbendera. “I will tell you that even without any sense of equivocation. I will vouch for these elections. They are transparent, they would be free, they will certainly be fair.”

    Mbendera called on Malawians to come out in large numbers to choose their leaders in an election he promises would be free and fair adding that the vote would be better than previously held elections in the Southern African country.

    According to Malawi’s electoral law, there would be no run-off.

    “We used what we call the first past the post,” said Mbendera. “So, it is rally the one who has a bigger aggregation of votes that takes the presidency. It doesn’t matter what sort of percentage it is.”

    The MEC compiled a new voters list that would be used for the elections. But some opposition and civil society groups expressed concern about inaccuracies in the list, which they said could undermine the credibility of the vote.  Mbendera disagreed. He urged Malawians to repose confidence in the electoral body’s ability to organize a transparent vote.

    “The voters register is ready, and it is better than the one we used in 2009. We have a voter population now on the register of 7,470, 806 voters,” said Mbendera. “They should have confidence that we are doing all we can to bring about an election that is credible, that is free and fair. And my plea to them is to come out in their large numbers to select and choose the leaders of their choice. This is a mother of all elections in Malawi.”

    Mbendera says the MEC is working with all political parties to address their concerns in the run up to the vote. He also says the electoral body has implemented measures to resolve electoral disputes.

    “We have a complaint handling unit at the headquarters, but in the district we have what we call the Multiparty Liaison Committees. They are supposed to deal with any issues of complaints that arise at that level. If they are not able to decide, then they will refer them to us,” said Mbendera.

    “If it is a complaint relating to the poll itself, the conduct of the poll, every individual, party agent or candidate or political party is entitled to register their complaints to the presiding officer at the polling center,” said Mbendera. “If they are not satisfied then they refer them to the commission at its headquarters… all other matters that are still in dispute can be referred to the High Court.”                  

    The MEC invited both local and international poll observers to monitor the general election.

    Some of the poll observers include the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the SADC Parliamentary Forum, according to Mbendera.

    “The diplomatic missions that are in Malawi are also invited to observe these elections,” he said.
    Clottey interview with Justice Maxon Mbendera, Malawi Election Chief
    Clottey interview with Justice Maxon Mbendera, Malawi Election Chiefi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora