Malawi Congress Party (MCP) director of elections Elias Chakwera says the party’s members of Parliament (MPs) will form the team that will monitor the fresh election scheduled for July 2 this year.
Chakwera, who said this in an interview yesterday, however, fell short of specifying the total number of monitors his party intends to deploy in the 5002 polling centres nationwide.
He said MCP, which has formed an electoral alliance with UTM Party, will include MPs and councillors in its team of election monitors to avoid mistakes that occured during the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Said Chakwera: “We will use everybody who is available. We will use councillors and MPs, we want to have monitors at every level. Our aim is to correct mistakes which were there in the previous election.”
MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM Party counterpart Saulos Chilima, who is also the country’s Vice-President, successfully challenged the May 2019 presidential election results which the Constitutional Court nullified on February 3 this year, citing irregularities.
During the presidential election nullification case, Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, who represented second respondent Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), claimed the election was free and fair because MCP and UTM Party monitors were present in all polling centres throughout the process.
Asked whether the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will also deploy its MPs as party monitors, the party’s director of elections Ben Phiri said his party will not expose its election strategy to the public now.
However, he questioned how MCP will deploy its “few” MPs to all 5 002 polling centres.
Meanwhile, Mzuzu-based political commentator Emily Mkamanga has supported MCP’s decision to engage its MPs in the process, saying the decision shows the party is serious about the forthcoming election.
On his part, political commentator Humphreys Mvula argued that while the party is considering deploying MPs, it should also think that is important to put in place able and experienced people who can question issues.
He said: “What this may mean is that these MPs will be supervising party monitors at zonal level. But they need to put a layer of leaders and identify young men and individuals who might not be afraid to ask questions.
“They need to put in place individuals who are courageous and alert; individuals with experience and those who were part of the process from the beginning. They need to identify new faces like graduates and within the locality where elections are taking place because those are the ones that can identify people as legitimate voters in that locality.”
During the Lilongwe South by-election which took place in January this year, the party also engaged MPs as monitors.