The European Union (EU) has asked the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to improve its elections results management system to ensure timely dispensation of electoral justice.
Speaking in Lilongwe recently during a two-day post-2014 Tripartite Elections Conference that was jointly organised by the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust and the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI), EU head of economics and public affairs Mateja Peternlj said MEC should understand that the way elections are managed impacts greatly on the results and the way stakeholders receive them.
Said Peternelj: “A reliable results system should be enhanced in order to ensure that there is integrity in the collation of, aggregation and tabulation of the results. It is high time MEC moved towards electronic voter registration, verification and counting so as to ease pressure on the process, while most importantly minimising errors due to manual processing.”
In his keynote address, chairperson of the Electoral Supervisory Commission and Electoral Boundaries Commission in the Republic of Mauritius, Yusuf Aboobaker, observed that poorly managed elections cannot eradicate people’s ills, but only exacerbate them.
“Elections are a focal point on which democracy is built and democracy is like a baby that needs to be nurtured so that it grows fully. Poorly organised and managed elections are always riddled with tension and dissatisfaction which is bad for a young democracy like Malawi’s,” explained Aboobaker.
Nice executive director Ollen Mwalubunju urged MEC to promote transparency, accountability and professionalism in the management of results, saying the elections body “should master swift management of information relating to anomalies and upgrading existing systems to create room for cross-checking of results at every stage”.