The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Wednesday engaged District Commissioners to assess the June 23 2020 fresh presidential election.
Opening the review meeting in Blantyre, Commissioner Arthur Nanthuru stressed on the need to continuously re-engineer electoral processes to keep improving in the conduct and management of future elections.
He further called on electoral stakeholders to think outside the box and come up with innovative means of attracting more voters in the coming polls.
In the June 23 fresh presidential election, out of 6,859,570 registered voters, only 4,445,699 took part in the election.
Nanthuru further challenged the DCs to make a proper analysis of the past election and look for ways of improvement.
“We want to learn from the people that implemented the decisions that the commission made. Learn the mistakes that were there and discuss how they can be address. We will also look at laws and policies, for example, if the delegates feel counting of votes at night does not make sense, the Commission might wish to engage other stakeholders and see how that can be resolved,” said Nanthuru.
He however stressed that citing improvement to the current electoral practices does not mean that the elections were not up to standards.
Delegates to the meeting spoke of the need for Parliament to fill legislative gaps by working on the electoral reforms bills so that elections are conducted in a transparent and credible manner.
District Commissioner for Mulanje, Stallichi Mwambiwa called for the need to review the period within which MEC is required to announce election results saying eight days are not enough for analysis of votes and review of all complaints particularly when it comes to Tripartite Elections.
Mwambiwa highlighted voter apathy and an increased number of null and void votes as some of the major challenges his district faced during the fresh presidential election.
“Over 80 thousand registered voters did not show up, we had a significant number of null and void votes. I think this had to do with poor Civic Education.
“I would like MEC to do research and provide an electoral lens on why most elections face voter apathy so that other stakeholders can come in to help resolve the challenges,” said Mwambiwa.
When announcing the June 23 fresh presidential election results, MEC chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale highlighted financial challenges and limited preparation time as some of the challenges the commission faced.