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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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 Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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