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European Union deploys election observers

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By Emmanuel Chirwa:

STEVENS— Mec has improved

The European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission has deployed 28 long-term election observers as Malawi readies for the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Speaking at a press briefing in Blantyre, where he made the announcement, EU Election Observation Mission Deputy Chief Observer, Mark Stevens, also lauded the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) for following some of the recommendations observers made in 2014.

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“We made recommendations for improvement and it’s encouraging that most have been looked into. Mec has improved on the elections’ calendar, voter registration exercise and in ensuring that results are properly managed by establishing telecentres at constituency level.

“However, Mec has missed a chance to look at issues to do with the legal framework. [Cases of] political violence during campaign period are still [being registered] and I believe these are some of the issues we will include in our assessment,” he said.

The 28-member team will observe and assess the legal framework and its implementation, elect ion administration, conduct of the media, participation of minorities and vulnerable groups, campaign activities of candidates and political parties, among other things.

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Thirty-two short term observers are expected to join the mission shortly before May 21.

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