Blantyre — Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Chifundo Kachale has attributed the absence of international observers in the Fresh Presidential Election to travel ban restrictions across the world due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Speaking during a press briefing at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre on Thursday, Kachale said in preparation for the Fresh Presidential Election, MEC sent out invitation letters to various international election observers, including the European Union (EU).
"We invited international observers to come during this Fresh Presidential Election and I wish the media would stop misinforming the public.
"The EU will come out on its own to clarify on the media reports that it was not invited to observe the election," he said.
"The discussion around the absence of international observers should also not pay a blind eye to the effects of travel bans due to COVIDd-19.
"Being international guests, it meant the observers would have been subjected to a two-week quarantine or self-isolation period, so we can safely assume their absence is attributed to COVID-19 pandemic," Kachale further explained.
He observed that some missions in Malawi such as EU, the Danish Church Aid, United Nations Development Programme, US Embassy, Zimbabwe High Commission, Zambia High Commission, Tanzania High Commission, Mozambique High Commission and the Japanese Embassy were on the ground monitoring the situation.