MEC commissioners on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 had an audience with the state president, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to officially present the report for the May 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Since this was the first meeting of the Commission and the President since the elections of May 2014 the Commission also took the opportunity to appraise on some of the major activities and achievements the Commission has registered since Prof Mutharika ascendance to power.
Highlighting the achievements, MEC chairman, Justice Maxon Mbendera SC said that the Commission has managed to conduct three sets of by-elections to fill vacant 15 seats that fell vacant for various reasons.
And on this Justice Mbendera expressed gratitude to the government for the commitment shown to the democratization process of this country through the provision of funds to ensure that the people were represented at all times.
The MEC chairman also mentioned that the lessons learnt in the preparation and the actual implementation of the elections were very valuable as we prepare for 2019 elections .
“After the elections, as we prepare for the 2019 elections, the Commissioners have been exposed to various capacity building programmes. They are now very well versed in matters of elections.
“We have been trained in Voter Registration. We now know the various systems that are available worldwide and we can competently select and implement a biometric Voter Registration System with ease,” he said.
He added that Commissioners had been thoroughly trained in the area of Civic Education Programmes and that they were able to draw programmes that reach out to the people with maximum impact.
“Your Excellency might be pleased to learn that in the 2014 Tripartite Elections, null and void votes accounted for only 1.09% of the total votes cast. Internationally, 3% is acceptable for null and void votes. Therefore 1.09% is the envy of the World. This is a record in Africa and beyond. This, Your Excellency, is attributed to the training Commissioners have been receiving,” said the MEC chairman.
In his speech, the State President said he delighted to receive the report from the Commission pursuant to the constitutional as well as statutory mandate conferred on the Electoral Commission by the law.
The State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika congratulated the Commission for organising and managing the 2014 Tripartite Elections as well as the subsequent by-elections.
“The conduct of the recent by-elections does indeed show that your Commission has come of age and has acquired the relevant experience in managing elections.
I would therefore, like to assure you that my Government is ready and willing to offer the support to your Commission in the discharge of its legal mandate,” said the State President.