Some citizens in the country have asked government and key electoral stakeholders such as the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to show early commitment and competence to build public confidence in the 2019 elections.
The call was made through a Public Opinion Post-election Research Study which National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace (CCJP) conducted in 24 of the country’s 28 districts to solicit citizen’s views on the May 20 Tripartite Elections and their expectations from councillors.
Presenting the findings of the study to journalists in Blantyre on Monday, CCJP national secretary Chris Chisoni and NDI southern and eastern Africa team senior adviser Traci Cook said citizens feel that MEC and other institutions need to improve on competence.
According to the report, citizens feel developing and sharing election preparation milestones, delivering a flawless voter registration process and funding the 2019 election as soon as possible are some of the areas MEC and its partners need to work on to regain public confidence.
Participants also expressed fears of a divided Malawi as demonstrated by increased calls for federalism. Many participants from the Northern and Central regions said they feel excluded from government and marginalised in terms of development under the current political system.
In an interview on Tuesday, Chisoni said the findings are timely and welcome as they will help key electoral institutions to deliver effectively and efficiently in the 2019 elections.
He said: “CCJP will continue engaging stakeholders and the public to make sure the recommendations made in the report are implemented.”
The study’s findings are drawn from 83 focus group discussions conducted from September 12 to 27 2014 across 24 districts in Malawi. There were 582 participants in the study.