Malawians will go to the polls on 21 May to vote for a president, members of national assemblies and local councillors in the country’s tripartite elections.
Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, is leading the 12-member Commonwealth Observer Group (COG). They arrived in Blantyre on 15th May and will be deployed to six locations to observe pre-poll preparations, voting day and the results processes.
The group has already received briefings from the electoral commission, political parties, police, independent institutions, civil society and the diplomatic community.
On arriving in Malawi, President Mbeki said: “The COG is aware that this is Malawi’s second tripartite election and fully appreciates its significance to the people of Malawi. Our presence here affirms the support of the Commonwealth to the country and its democratic processes.
“As we observe the electoral process we will act impartially and independently. The process of observing elections entails scrutinising their organisation and conduct, which includes assessing the pre-election environment, polling day activities and the post–election period.
“As the COG, we will do all these, as well as assess whether the elections have been conducted in accordance with the laws of Malawi and the international and regional standards to which Malawi has committed itself.”
Following the election, the Group will present its preliminary findings at a press conference on 23rd May in Blantyre. A final report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. It will be made available to relevant stakeholders and the public at a later date.
A Commonwealth Observer group was present for the first tripartite elections in 2014.
Composition of the Group: