From 5 to 10 July, 2020 Commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission and management members gathered at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge for a weeklong Building Resource in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Introduction to Election Administration course.
The Commission was appointed on 7 June, 2020 and went straight into preparations for the fresh Presidential Election on 23 June, 2020 following a court order that nullified the 2019 presidential elections.
The workshop, held with support from UNDP Malawi was opened by MEC chairman, Justice Dr ChifundoKachale. All Covid-19 measures were put in place to protect the participants from spreading the virus.
“Since the Commission is new, this training is very important although it is coming after the Fresh Presidential Election. However, I reckon that there are four parliamentary by-elections coming ahead of us. That will be a fertile opportunity to put into use the knowledge gained from this course” he said.
The MEC chairman observed that the Commission owed the nation a responsibility to sustain the freedom and democracy currently through well managed elections.
“Elections management is a crucial component in the measurement of the maturity and quality of democracy of a country. Well-managed elections will speak volumes of the maturity of democracy, rule of law and good governance existing in a country.
“We are blessed that the Fresh Presidential Election has earned praise of all electoral stakeholders. It now remains our responsibility to maintain the good ratings and performance that we are currently enjoying,” he said.
On the choice of the module, the MEC chairman observed that the Introduction to Election Administration Module is a very fundamental module that covers very important aspects on management and administration of elections, therefore very important for a Commission that had just been appointed.
“The module to be covered in this training is a fundamental one and it will give you a bit of everything you need to know about elections administration and management.
“It is general in nature and covers all the essential topics so that you have a fairer understanding of elections management,” said he MEC Chairman.
BRIDGE is a comprehensive professional electoral curriculum based on adult-learning and is participatory in nature.
The current cohort of the Commission has seven members including the chairman of which three members have previously served as Electoral Commissioners before.