Malawi Electoral Support Network insists local polls for 2014
Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) says all concerned players should proceed to prepare and support activities leading to 2014 elections even when no law is in place to allow for tripartite elections.
Mesn Chairperson Aloisious Nthenda said this in Lilongwe Thursday at the start of a national consultative conference on the roadmap to 2014 elections.
He said, despite negative government reaction on tripartite election, Mesn was optimistic the tripartite elections would still be held for the first time in Malawi come 2014.
Nthenda observed that the decision to hold tripartite elections in Malawi in 2014 was made by the former government following pressure after citizens had waited in vain for local government elections since 2005 when they should have been held.
But recent events and actions by government and parliament suggest that government is not ready to fulfill the commitment of holding tripartite elections in 2014, Nthenda said.
"Statements made by senior cabinet ministers and the report from the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament and failure by government to prioritise the tripartite bill in June 2012 sitting of parliament are such examples," Nthenda said.
He further prayed for continued collaboration with its partners in preparation for the tripartite elections in 2014.
Sharing her views on the 2014 elections, the Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Justice Anastasia Msosa said there is need for commitment from every Malawian to smooth the road ahead of 2014 election and make it successful.
Msosa said Malawi now deserved well administered elections and this could be achieved if all stakeholders admit the mistakes made in the past elections and resolve them.
"This is the appropriate time for all stakeholders in elections to reflect on the past. This will help in coming up with practical and realistic solutions that suit our environment in order to perform better this time around" Msosa said.
Local government elections took place only once in 2000 and were marred by massive voter apathy (14 percent voter turnout only). In the following years, there have been a lot of postponements with both the governments of former president Bakili Muluzi and the late Bingu wa Mutharika giving a variety of excuses.