United States of America (USA) Ambassador Jeanine Jackson says the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) still has outstanding issues to resolve despite doing a commendable job in ensuring peaceful elections on May 20.
Speaking during the swearing in ceremony for environment and health workers volunteers in Lilongwe, Jackson said MEC needs to resolve some logistical issues.
Said Jackson: “As the Embassy, we are generally satisfied I think there are some issues that need to be resolved and there are 13 days to election, some of the issues that do need are probably some logistics perhaps some communications issues and I definitely urge MEC to continue to communicate with the Malawian people in every way possible.”
In the run up to the May 20 Tripartite Elections, various political parties and electoral stakeholders have expressed concern over the messed up voter’s roll, calling it a catalyst for disaster and a recipe for violence as some voters could be denied their chance to vote.
Last week, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) chairperson the Reverend Felix Chingota said: “If the country is to achieve the much desired peace, there is a need for the electoral body to be transparent in their dealings, as any mess could be a catalyst for situation crises.
“When we say the electoral body we mean the whole process of elections from now onwards must be peaceful. If things don’t go well, some people will be denied the opportunity to vote and who knows these could be supporters of one party or the other to disenfranchise group of people and this is a recipe for violence.
“Voter’s roll needs to be clearer. MEC has exercise big task and they are the key players in terms of peace, if they mishandle they are creating a situation crises.”
MEC suspended the initial voter’s roll verification exercise following revelations of messed up data, among others.
The exercise has ended this week but some voters are still verifying their details through SMS and the Internet.