Election management expert Pavel Cabacenco has urged Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to be properly equipped through training to deliver elections effectively.
Cabacenco, who is an election management programme adviser for International Foundation for Electoral Systems, said this yesterday in Lilongwe at the start of a workshop on electoral administration and boundary demarcation exercise for MEC commissioners and management.
He said: “Elections always change and so do the laws and people; hence, the need for continuous trainings for you who manage the elections.”
In her remarks, MEC commissioner Olivia Liwewe said management of MEC must train and also start preparing for 2025 to deliver a credible election.
She said the 2019 election faced a number of challenges; hence, the 2025 election gives an opportunity for MEC to to deliver a free and fair election.
Said Liwewe: “The election ahead of us is another opportunity to give a good service to the nation. But for us to do that we need to begin to prepare now.”
She stressed that electoral management is crucial for maturity of democracy, rule of law and good governance.
“We owe the nation a responsibility to sustain freedom and democracy that we are currently enjoying,” said Liwewe.
She said government has budgeted K1.5 billion for the demarcation exercise and K500 million of the funds has been released to MEC.
According to Liwewe, the actual demarcation exercise is expected to begin early 2022, but currently MEC is consulting electoral stakeholders on the same.
Malawi will hold its next general elections in 2025 due to election calendar changes following the nullification of the 2019 presidential election by the five-judge panel of the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court.
The ruling, which called for fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020, means general elections will now take place in 2025.
The Constitutional Court in February 2020 cited “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities when it annulled the vote May 2019 vote.