Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is to lead the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) elections observer mission in Rwanda.
Commissioner Mary Nkosi will represent MEC.
COMESA is scheduled to deploy short-term electoral observation missions to the upcoming presidential and general elections in Rwanda and Kenya scheduled for August 4 and 8, 2017 respectively.
In a statement from Comesa, Ambassador Dr. Simbi Mubako from Zimbabwe will lead the team to Kenya. The advance team to Rwanda is expected to arrive in Kigali on July 27, 2017 while the team to Kenya is expected to arrive in Nairobi on July 30, 2017.
It says both teams are members of the Comesa Committee of Elders.
Reads the statement in part: “The teams will observe the pre-election, election and post-election activities. In addition, they will consult with other key stakeholders in both countries. They will issue preliminary statements immediately after observing the elections. Comprehensive reports will follow after 90 days.”
Comesa observes elections in member states as means of promoting and consolidating democracy in the region.
It believes that elections play a pivotal role in societal transformation in the region and provide a footstall for entrenching democratic principles.
According to the statement, premised on this critical role, member states have continued holding periodic elections which have heralded a new dawn by signifying steady progress towards deepening and institutionalizing democracy in the 19-member bloc.
The general elections in Kenya will be the second after the promulgation of a new constitution in 2010. The new constitution which is considered progressive in the region introduced new political positions.
The presidential elections in Rwanda follows the 2015 referendum that unanimously approved a constitutional amendment that allowed President Paul Kagame to run for office in 2017. The forthcoming elections are considered important in Rwanda’s socio-economic and political progress.
Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Nkosi said the trip will give her a chance for training and a wider understanding of election matters.