National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust says the absence of political party monitors at centres during Phase Three of processing transfers and issuing of duplicate voter certificates to those who lost them is a threat to credible elections.
Nice Trust Neno district civic education officer Walasi Kudzala said yesterday that political party monitors provide checks during the exercise to ensure a transparent and credible electoral process.
“ This exercise is ver y important because it gives political parties an opportunity to know the changes and shortcomings in the voter registry,” he said.
He was react ing to an observation that most centres in Neno District have no party monitors.
A visit to some of the centres in the district by Neno District Election Supervisory Team (Dest) confirmed the presence of Nice Trust monitors while only two centres had governing Democratic Progressive Party monitors.
Kudzala said deploying monitors for every electoral process builds the capacity of monitors before the voting day.
He said: “Political parties that monitor voter registration may be required to engage in activities similar to those they conduct as part of their election day monitoring efforts. By conducting activities several months before election day, political parties can identify impor t a n t mon i t o r i n g strengths and weaknesses.
Following the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that only those who registered for the May 2019 Tripartite Elections should vote in the forthcoming July 2 fresh presidential election, Malawi Electroal Commission announced the opening of all the centres in the remaining councils for Phase Three for five days to allow the processing of transfers and issuing of duplicate voter certificates to those who lost them.
Phase Three is expected to run from May 15-19 2020 in Mzuzu City, Mzimba, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Balaka, Zomba City, Zomba District and Neno councils.