The Commonwealth has deployed a team of 11 observers to the May 20 Tripartite Elections following an invitation from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
The team, which conducted a similar mission in South Africa during the country’s elections last week, will be led by Botswana’s former vice-president Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe.
According to a press statement, the Commonwealth says conducting elections where citizens can choose their leaders and representatives freely in a peaceful environment is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy as well as a collective strength of Commonwealth member States.
“The responsibility for conducting elections with integrity falls on all stakeholders in the process—from the election management body, to political parties and their leaders, to civil society, security agencies, the media and the voters,” reads the statement in part, signed by Commonwealth secretary general Kamalesh Sharma.
The statement indicates that the Commonwealth group of observers will consider the pre-electoral environment and election preparations before monitoring the voting process on election day.
The group will also observe vote counting procedures and the announcement of results in the line with international standards for democratic elections.
Other team members include Namanga Amos Ngongi who is a retired United Nations secretary general and diplomat from Cameroon; a retired diplomat from United Kingdom Linda Duffield and Boniface Cheembe who is an official from the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes from Zambia.
Other observers to the forthcoming elections that are already in the country include the African Union Observation Mission led by former president of Namibia Sam Nujoma and the European Union Election Observation Mission led by Veronique de Keyser.