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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More