Lilongwe — Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, has commended the Government of Malawi and donors through Basket Fund for the financial support they are renderingto address the K7.5 billion deficit which the commission had.
Ansah said on Monday in response to the inquiry by the Malawi News Agency reporter sent to her through WhatsApp on MEC'sfinancial deficit ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.
In May this year (2018), MEC chairperson told journalists in Blantyre after meeting President Mutharika that the commission was in financial problems following reduction of its budget which left them in a deficit of K7.5 billion.
Ansah conceded that MEC had a deficit but she was quick to state that Malawi Government and development partners were doing something to correct the situation.
However, the MEC Chairperson pointed out that unless the situation is really addressed, the electoral body will have difficulties in managing the electoral process and the elections.
Nevertheless, she assured Malawians that the commission will do its best to conduct the tripartite elections without irregularities.
"Malawians should be assured that MEC is well prepared to conduct the tripartite elections. We have commendable support from government, development partners and other stakeholders," she assured.
Commenting on the issue, a political analyst from Chancellor College Department of Political and Administrative Studies, Happy Kayuni, said it was worrisome that the electoral body is not fully independent.
"This is what we have been saying, that Malawi Electoral Commission should be independent. There should be a law that could make this electoral body powerful, this will protect MEC from these deficits.
"We should not expect MEC to be receiving mercies from the government of the day. If we still don't let this happen, this [MEC's financial situation] will be a song of the day in Malawi as far as MEC is concerned," Kayuni stated.
He urged Members of Parliament to be patriotic to their country by passing laws that will help Malawians, not themselves.
The Basket Fund is a pull into which development partners such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP), European Union (EU), Ireland and other donor countries supply the funds which MEC from.