"These elections are an opportunity to conduct polls which enjoy the confidence of the people, building on what has been done previously and learning also from past challenges,” stated Miroslav Poche, Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, in a press conference in Lilongwe on Thursday.
Mr. Poche added: “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. We hope for a peaceful campaign where contestants can compete on a level playing field. It is critical that the planning for elections is turned into an operational reality and all of the preparations, including identifying sufficient transportation, are put in place in a timely manner. We also hope that the results process will be transparent and timely, to retain the confidence of all stakeholders.”
The Chief Observer concludes today his first visit to Malawi. He has met with the Malawi Electoral Commission, the government, political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
“This is the fourth time the EU has deployed an election observation mission to Malawi. Our presence for the 2019 polls demonstrates the European Union’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” said Mr Poche.
The EU EOM is composed of eight analysts who arrived in Blantyre on 4 April 2019, twenty-eight long-term observers and 32 short-term observers. They will be joined by diplomats of EU Member States and partner countries, and on Election Day the EU EOM will have more than 80 observers across the country, covering both urban and rural areas.
The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the whole electoral process. This includes assessing the legal framework, the performance of the election administration, voter registration, campaign activities, participation of women, media coverage, voting, counting and transmission of results, and any election disputes after the polls.
The EU EOM has a code of conduct, which requires neutrality and no interference in the process. The mission undertakes all its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and cooperates closely with national and other international observers. The EU EOM will publish its initial findings in a Preliminary Statement two days after Election Day. A final report will be presented in the country within two-three months after the election.