International observers have commended Malawians, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and electoral stakeholders for peaceful and transparent elections despite that there were logistical deficiencies.
The observers addressed separate media briefings in Blantyre yesterday on their findings on the country’s first-ever tripartite elections.
European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) chief observer Veronique De Keyser said notwithstanding organisational shortcomings and a few isolated incidents of unrest, calm prevailed during the election day.
Keyser said MEC acted impartially throughout the election period and sought inclusive solutions in its effort to enfranchise all voters.
On its part, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) mission commended Malawians for the tolerance and patience they exhibited during the electoral process regardless of delays experienced.
“The people of Malawi should continue to be tolerant as this will go a long way in fundamentally contributing to the consolidation of democracy in the country,” reads in part a statement from the mission signed by Ambassador Berhane Gherbray.
According to a statement issued by the Commonwealth observer group, Malawians demonstrated enthusiasm, patience and determination to vote even when polling was substantially delayed.
“The group was impressed by the proactive manner in which MEC kept all stakeholders regularly informed and updated on key developments and challenges on polling day,” reads in part the statement.
The African Union Election Observation Mission (Aueom) head Sam Nujoma said while the tabulation of election results was ongoing, the mission already concluded that “the elections provided an opportunity for Malawians to choose leaders at the polls”.
Said Nujoma: “The elections were conducted in a largely transparent manner in accordance to the legal framework of Malawi and international standards.”
The Electoral Commission Forum of Sadc countries (ECF – Sadc) observer mission team leader Mzwandile Fakudze said the mission applauded the positive efforts by all relevant stakeholders towards the success of the elections.