News / Africa

    Malawi Establishes Presidential Debate Task Force

    FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
    FILE - Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
    Peter Clottey
    Malawi’s Electoral Commission (MEC) has established a task force to organize the country’s first ever presidential debate in the run up to general elections on May 20, according to Sangwani Mwafulirwa, the electoral body’s director for media affairs.

    Mwafulirwa said the group aims “to create a platform where we can give a chance to the electorate to compare views and policies which the presidential candidates have on various issues affecting the country.”  “We also aim at providing an opportunity for all the presidential candidates [to] articulate what they have to the nation in a comparative forum.”             

    He said the political parties have endorsed the idea and have signaled they want to take part.

    “Since we announced that we are going to have the debate, we have received positive feedback from all the political parties. None has come in to say they will not participate,” said Mwafulirwa.                                        

    Members of the presidential debate task force are drawn from various civil society organizations and broadcast media houses as well as international partners based on their expertise.

    “Malawi’s electoral laws give the electoral commission the mandate to do everything possible within its power to make sure that there is an equal level playing field, and we feel bringing all the candidates together on one forum might give an opportunity to the candidates who may not have other [places] to articulate themselves,” said Mwafulirwa.

    Mwafulirwa says the task force will determine what’s needed to organize and administer the presidential debates, including the appropriate dates and venues.  The group will also determine the themes of the fora, their duration and presentation, either live or pre-recorded.  The task force will settle questions regarding debate format, including whether a moderator or audience members will question the candidates and the houses that will provide coverage.  

    Some political analysts have questioned the independence of the presidential debate committee.  But Mwafulirwa says it will be devoid of any political or ethnic influence.

    “This task force will operate in the same [way] as the Malawi Electoral Commission is also independent,” said Mwafulirwa.
    Clottey interview with Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Malawi electoral official
    Clottey interview with Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Malawi electoral officiali
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora