Scrapping off the first-past-the-post electoral system and other reforms aimed at improving legitimacy of the country’s election system and the credibility of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) may be sent to Parliament for approval as early as the next meeting, MEC and other stakeholders announced on Tuesday.
The announcement was made at a news conference in Lilongwe jointly addressed by MEC and Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn), co-chairs of the current electoral reform task force.
Speaking after a meeting of the technical committee spearheading the reforms, MEC commissioner Emmanuel Chimkwita- Phiri told journalists the reforms likely to be sent to Parliament include harmonisation of electoral laws, removal of the first- past-the-post system, independence of MEC and funding of MEC.
He said: “We hope to finish consultations and come up with a final paper by August . It is important that we enact these reforms.”
On his part, Mesn chairperson Steve Duwa said the reforms seek to improve the representativeness, legitimacy and inclusiveness of the electoral process and its outcomes.
He added that the reforms are also set to align the country’s electoral system with international standards such as the Southern Africa Develoment Community (Sadc) principles and guidelines governing democratic elections and the African Charter on democracy, elections and governance.
Earlier this year, the United Nations urged stakeholders to push ahead with reforms despite challenges.
The reforms come hot on the heels of a national post election conference that exposed dissatisfaction by several stakeholders with the management of the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.