The European Union-EU Election Observation Mission to Malawi is maintaining that its final and preliminary reports on local elections are always objective.
This is according to Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, Miroslav Poche whose team held a press conference in Lilongwe on Thursday.
During the press conference, Poche cited that the team made recommendations after the 2014 elections and some of the recommendations raised have been addressed.
“We are encouraged that some of the recommendations raised during past elections have been addressed, such as an improved voter register, though some remain to be dealt with but we hope for a peaceful campaign where contestants can compete on a level playing field,” Poche explained.
He has further advised that planning for elections should be turned into an operational reality and all of the preparations, including identifying sufficient transportation, should be put in place in a timely manner.
Some issues that remain unresolved according to the observer mission are legal reforms concerning campaign and party financing as well as misuse of state resources.
“This is the fourth time the EU has deployed an election observation mission to Malawi. Our presence for the 2019 polls demonstrates the EU’s continuing commitment to the conduct of peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Malawi. I also want to say how pleased I am that EU Member States were able to mobilize funds to help victims of the recent cyclone and flooding,” added Poche.
As the Chief Observer concludes his first visit to Malawi, he has so far met with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the Government, political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
The EU Election Observation Mission has since indicated that it works using a code of conduct, which requires neutrality and no interference in the process.
The mission also undertakes all its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and cooperates closely with national and other international observers hence stressing that its objectivity.
The team is composed of eight analysts who arrived in Blantyre on 4 April 2019, twenty-eight long-term observers and 32 short-term observers.
It will publish its initial findings in a Preliminary Statement two days after Election Day and a final report will be presented in the country within two to three months after the election.