News / Africa

Southern Africa Poll Group Expects Peaceful Malawi Election

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 deputy leader of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Parliamentary Forum poll observer mission says Malawi’s Electoral Commission has assured the group it has made adequate preparations to administer the country’s first tripartite elections on Tuesday.

The SADC parliamentary forum poll observers comprise parliamentarians from the Southern African region.  Situmbeko Musokotwane says prospective Malawian voters have peacefully conducted themselves during the campaign period before the presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Malawians go to the polls Tuesday to choose their leaders in a poll in which a candidate would be declared winner by garnering a simple aggregate majority of the total votes cast, in accordance with the country’s electoral law.

“Since we came it has been quiet, very peaceful,” said Musokotwane.  “The Malawi Electoral Commission they have told us in a briefing last week that they have everything in place.  That would have to be tested today and tomorrow because that is when we expect the voting materials to be arriving at the voting stations.  But so far, they indicated to us that everything is under control.”

The SADC parliamentary poll observer group has been to both the rural and urban areas as part of its mission to monitor political activities leading up to the Tuesday elections.  Musokotwane says members of the group have yet to observe cases of violence.

“I have not even seen anyone pointing finger at another candidate or wagging a finger or taunting them, nothing.  So it’s very peaceful,” said Musokotwane.  “The campaigning themselves from what we have been seeing are extremely quiet. Of course the rallies are a very jubilant place.  There is lots of music, lots of dancing and lots of performances, but it has been extremely peaceful.”

Musokotwane is hopeful there would be no violence during Tuesday’s election based on the way Malawians have conducted themselves during the campaigning period.

He says the poll monitoring group has met with stakeholders including civil society groups, NGOs, diplomatic missions and Malawi’s academia as part of its mission.  Musokotwane some of the groups expressed concern about preparations leading up to the vote.  He says some of the stakeholders appear to be satisfied with the level of preparations ahead of the vote.

“Of course like everywhere else, now and then there were accusations of wrong doing, which of course were not verified.  We encouraged people when they see wrongdoing to report to the Malawi Electoral Commission,” said Musokotwane.

“The civil society groups said they are reasonably comfortable that everything is running well.  Again of course they expressed concerns here and there,” said Musokotwane.  “Once again we encouraged them to speak to the Malawi Electoral Commission or if they have direct evidence ... to share that with us, which we shall be very happy to pass on to the Malawi Electoral Commission.”       
Clottey interview with Situmbeko Musokotwane , SADC Parliament forum
Clottey interview with Situmbeko Musokotwane , SADC Parliament forumi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs