KAMPALA-(MaraviPost)-The embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Justice Dr Jane Ansah is in Uganda to give a keynote address on a landmark conference on electoral Dispute Resolution as the country prepares for elections in 2020.
The Maravi Post understands that Ansah invitation is part of the Uganda’s preparations for the 2020/2021 General Elections and in line with Uganda’s Electoral Roadmap, the Electoral Commission (EC), convened a 2-day Symposium on ‘Strengthening the Electoral Process in Uganda: Sharing Experiences and Good Practices’ from 4th to 5th December 2019 Munyonyo in Kampala.
The symposium brought together over 200 participants drawn from state and non-state actors in Uganda and seasoned resource persons from the region and beyond to share their electoral experiences.
“The Electoral Commission has identified you as a key resource person and takes this opportunity to invite you to participate in this Symposium and present on ‘Promoting Electoral Justice through Effective Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) Mechanisms’, reads in part the letter to Ansah.
In her presentation Justice Dr Jane Ansah said an electoral dispute mechanism will be generally acceptable if for example it has basis in the law of the country in question, Malawi being a good example.
“In Malawi, the manner of dispute resolution is a provision of the Constitution of the Republic under its Principles of National Policy. In settling disputes law guides the parties to strive to adopt mechanisms by which differences are settled through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration”, she explained.
The MEC chairperson mentioned the Multiparty Liaison Committees (MPLC) as a perfect example of how parties in dispute get involved in the electoral dispute resolution process in Malawi.
Another example of Election Dispute Resolution is the National Elections Consultative Forum (NECFOF). Necof is a high cell platform comprising leaders of political parties, farmers, Development Partners, relevant government departments and agencies.
“At a NECOF meeting, the Commission announces major policy decisions, addresses stakeholders’ issues and gets feedback from electoral stakeholders. This pre-empts grievances and complaints and provided the MEC with feedback on how it is conducting itself,” she explained.
Ansah said apart from the MPLCs and NECOF, the Electoral Commission in consultation with stakeholders developed various codes of conduct for various electoral stakeholders including traditional leaders, media, civil society, political parties and candidates.
The symposium was organized to afford stakeholders in the electoral process in Uganda an opportunity to, reflect on the effort by the Electoral Commission and other partner institutions in preparation for the 2020/2021 General Elections and come up with relevant recommendations on improving election management.
MEC chair Ansah in Malawi is accused of mismanagement of May 21 polls that witnessed President Peter Mutharika retaining the seat for the second term.