LILONGWE (Maravi Post)—The newly appointed Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners have vowed to fast track the adaptation of the electoral laws reforms in a bid to improve electoral process of the 2019 general elections.The assurance comes following the commissioners’ swearing in of their office on Friday, June 17, in the capital Lilongwe after President Peter Mutharika appointed them to run the electoral body for four year term.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post after the swearing in, Linda Kunje assured the general public that the new commissioners want to see the quicker adaptation of the electoral law reforms for the smooth running of the forthcoming 2019 elections.
Kunje disclosed that some electoral laws don’t speak to each other which usually affect the smooth run of elections which sometimes have lost trust in the general public’ eye.
“Our prime task is to work on reforms done already on the country’s electoral laws which seem somehow in conflict with the supreme law of the land. Laws must serve the general public interest. We will harmonize all these laws to avoid the repeat of the 2014’s tripartite elections tension,” assured Kunje.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda who presided over the ceremony did not flatter the new commissioners but caution them to focus much on serving the general public interest while working closely with the constitution.
“This oath you have made today establishes moral commitment that your personal cautious and value are on the public interest. A public officer must have credible values to win people’s trust in running of this political office. You have a social responsibility of protecting the country’s democracy and loyalty to the constitution and public interest. Never serve specific individuals or certain group of people but public interest,” advised Nyirenda.
The newly appointed commissioners which took their oath are Mrs Mathanga, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, a former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) board chair Moffat Banda, former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) deputy governor Mary Nkosi, former Livingstonia Synod moderator and current Ekwendeni Mission Hospital principal administrator the Reverend Clifford Baloyi and the Reverend Killion Mgawi, who has served Nkhoma Synod as a minister for 53 years besides being its first general secretary.
Others are former diplomat Yahaya M’madi of United Democratic Front (UDF) and Linda Kunje of Peoples Party (PP) while Elvey Mtafu is the only old member who has made it into the new team.
The appointment of the new commissioners was received with mixed reactions as some quarters of the society praised Mutharika for being gender sensitive while others accused him of being biased saying it is dominated by ruling party members.