14 February 2017

Malawi: UDF Calls for Transparent Electoral Process

United Democratic Front (UDF) is calling on the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to tread carefully on its preparation for the 2019 general elections, saying it should be decisive and transparent on the electoral process.

UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga cautioned the electoral body to tread carefully to avoid being taken unawares with circumstances.

Ndana said MEC has not been decisive as to whether they will use National Rregistration Bureau.

"MEC should therefore be decisive on the system they are going to use for the registration process for the 2019 elections.

"We fear relying on data from National Registration Bureau is risky because there is no guarantee that they will be able yo have National IDd in time in line with the electoral calendar," Ndanga told Nyasa Times.

He added:" The scenario we have as at now is that MEC operations in as far as voter registration is concerened are at the mercy if another institution which may not be answerable to Malawians ont his exercise. This in our vire is recipe for mess."

However, during the meeting the Electoral Commission had with delegates from different political parties in the country, the Chairperson Dr Jane Ansah told the parties that they will use register from National Registration Bureau as its own register.

"It is cost effective to use NRB as the process is the same," said Ansah adding that if NRB delays in their operation, then we have alternative methods to come up with own registration.

Meanwhile,UDF spokesman has since called for the recruitment if electoral staff t be done in transparent manner through advertisement in the media.

"MEC should cast its net wider to allow qualified and capable Malawians from other professions to participate in the onterviews so that they can be considered as electoral officers.

"It should not be the domain of one profession because that has proved to be disastrous if the experience of the 2014 elections is anything to go by." Ndanga said.

MEC is the only legally recognized body to run elections in Malawi and it is mandated to discharge its duties independently.

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