Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Election Observer Mission head Joseph Malanji has urged Malawi to hold peaceful and credible May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Malanji, who is Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said this at the launch of the regional mission in Lilongwe on Saturday, just nine days to the poll during which the mission officials will fan out to various parts of the country for their observation work.
He said as an earlier Sadc Electoral Advisory Council mission to Malawi between April 4 and 8 had established, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has effected impressive groundwork towards holding a successful election.
Said Malanji: “May I, therefore, take this opportunity to encourage all stakeholders to ensure that these elections are conducted in a peaceful and secure environment.
“As Sadc, it is our hope that the electoral process will adhere to democratic values and principles envisioned in our Sadc Treaty; in the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, as well as the revised Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.”
The mission head commended MEC for finding solutions to challenges which have arisen prior to the election, including how it has made a special provision for Malawians who lost their voter registration cards in the recent Cyclone Idai floods.
In an earlier welcome address during the launch attended by high-profile international and local figures, director of the Sadc Politics, Defence and Security Affairs Jorge Cardoso saluted the guests for supporting Malawi in entrenching democracy.
The Sadc mission comprises a 39-member delegation from eight Sadc member States of Angola, Botswana, the Kingdom of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and will cover all the three regions and 27 out of 28 districts in Malawi.