MEC holds BRIDGE course on electoral systems

Malawi Electoral Commission with financial assistance of European Union Democratic Governance Programme (EU DGP) has organized a three-day training workshop on electoral systems for its Commissioners, staff and stakeholders.

Taking place at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre from 9 to 11 June, 2015, the training is based on the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) curricula.

Speaking during the opening, Commissioner Ambassador Reverend Emmanuel Chinkwita-Phiri said the training has come at a right time as there was a campaign for electoral reforms and a debate on the current electoral system.

Commissioner Chinkwita-Phiri said MEC, as an electoral management body, and members of the Electoral Reforms Task Force, needed to show masterly and connoisseurship in this debate.

The Commissioner added that the training would give the participants the required knowledge for their meaningful contribution to this debate.

“I have been informed that this module will entail defining what an electoral system is, why we have electoral systems and what makes them important. The overarching principle to grasp is that all electoral systems have advantages and disadvantages - affecting a wide range of areas,” he said.

The BRIDGE course aims at ensuring sustainability in professional development training in the field of elections by transferring the necessary training skills to national electoral commissions so that they can utilise BRIDGE for their own national training programmes. 

“Our work as electoral commission is to see to it that we create an environment conducive to the sustenance of our young democracy by conducting free, fair and transparent elections.

“The BRIDGE training curriculum represents a unique opportunity to meet the needs of our country and take the quality of our elections to new levels. This course represents the start of the MEC's investment in its staff to increase our state of readiness for future elections” commented Commissioner Stanley Billiati regarding the training.

The three-day training has drawn participation in the form of MEC Commissioners, Staff, political parties secretaries general and members of the expert reference group of the Electoral Reforms Task Force.