News / Africa

Malawi Group Warns of Possible Electoral Dispute

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 Malawi Civil Society Grand Coalition has warned that the electoral commission’s failure to address concerns expressed by political parties about the preparations leading up to the May 20 general election, saying they could undermine the entire tripartite vote.

The grand coalition, which comprises faith-based groups, civil society organizations, NGOs and Trade Union organizations, also expressed worry that the continued use of state resources by President Joyce Banda’s ruling People’s Party during the campaign period could potentially lead to disputes during the election process. 

Voice Mhone, leader of the Civil Society Grand Coalition, says the electoral commission has yet to resolve problems associated with the voter list despite repeated promises to do so.                                                                

Malawi’s electoral commission has been compiling a voter list to be used for the presidential, legislative and local elections.

But, opposition parties have complained about what they say are anomalies between figures from the country’s statistical service and that of the electoral commission in the voters’ list compilation. Mhone says the electoral body has yet to rectify the discrepancy despite promises to do so.

“The second concern is to do with the voter verification exercise. Three [or] four weeks ago, they had embarked on this exercise, but it was a total flop and they had to withdraw,” said Mhone. “The other issue is trying to level the playing ground. Both state controlled media and private media they are up to now showing some bias in their reports, and therefore, the ground is not leveled enough.”

The ruling party is using state resources for its campaign, according to Mhone. He says calls for transparency on how political parties are financed have so far failed to yield positive results.

“If you look at the way resources have been used we still have the state media following [the president] wherever she is covering and re-broadcasting the so-called developmental rallies, while clearly they seem to be political rallies,” said Mhone.

Supporters of the ruling party however contend that President Joyce Banda remains the country’s leader and deserves to be accorded the perks that come with the office including security protection as well as media coverage.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission says it has implemented measures to address concerns of political parties in the run up to the elections, says Sangwani Mwafulirwa, spokesperson of the electoral commission.

But, Mhone disagreed.
 
“They have been assuring to say we are addressing these concerns and so far, they seem to have given more of lip service than probably delivering on the expectation,” said Mhone.
Clottey interview with Voice Mhone, Civil Society Grand Coalition leader
Clottey interview with Voice Mhone, Civil Society Grand Coalition leaderi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Burials

Country is improving at rapid response to remote, isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid