The European Union (EU) has observed that technical preparations for the 2014 tripartite elections are slow despite huge dimensions of complexity involved in such elections.
The ambassador and head of EU delegation Alexander Baum made the remarks at the opening of the first national planning and training workshop for the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) in Blantyre on Wednesday.
“Tripartite elections have a huge dimension of complexity. Even in the EU, we don’t do that. It is confusing. It is not an easy task,” said Baum whose organisation has committed 7.5 million euros to Nice since September 2012 until 2015.
Recently, the Electoral Commission (EC) said its electoral calendar has delayed to start as it awaits funding being discussed by EC, Treasury and donors. Indications are that government will fund the activities after passing the 2013/14 budget.
Baum said with the tripartite elections scheduled for May 2014 in the country, it is of strategic importance that Nice is capacitated to fulfill its mandate of deepening democracy and good governance through the provision of high quality civic and voter education in a professional and non-partisan manner in all the districts in the country.
“These elections will be a test for Malawi, but it will also be a test for Nice that will need to prove that it can provide impartial civic and education, contribute to strengthening the checks and balances in the country and improving the democracy culture of the country,” he said.
Executive director of for Nice Ollen Mwalubunju said the organisation’s main activities between March 2013 and May 2014 will centre on the role of Nice in the electoral process while setting up interventions relating to the demand side of governance and voices of accountability.