A National Conference on Electoral Reforms took place in Lilongwe from 11th to 12th December 2014 to initiate a movement for electoral reform in Malawi; debate advantages and disadvantages of various electoral systems and practices; discuss recommendations from issues papers presented at the conference; formulate a national technical working group on electoral reforms and to establish an Expert Reference Group.
Participants to the conference were drawn from Malawi Electoral Commission, Government ministries and parastatals, Civil Society, political parties, the Media, Security Agents, international development partners, Academia and Traditional Leaders.
The discussions and presentations of the conference were around legal framework for elections in Malawi, electoral systems, Election management, civic and voter education, gender and elections, group discussion and the formation of technical and expert working group.
In his word, the MEC Chair Justice Maxon Mbendera said it was encouraging to note that unlike the 2014 elections, the country and stakeholders have started planning for the next elections early. “If we begin to plan now we will be able to have excellent elections, a germ that we will all be proud of”, he said.
The British High Commissioner His Excellency, Mr. Michael Nevin spoke in support of the electoral reform and commended the formation of the task force that was responsible to take forward the electoral reform agenda
The membership of the taskforce includes: Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)- Co-chair; Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN)- Co-chair; Public Affairs Committee (PAC); Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD); National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE); NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO GCN); Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Malawi Law Commission; Malawi Human Rights Commission; Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and National Democratic Institute (NDI).