THE SADC Lawyers Association (SADC-LA) has questioned the legal framework governing the elections in the country. One of the issues highlighted was the promulgation of the six electoral laws, which received Royal assent just weeks before the elections. The mission has since released its preliminary statement on its observation, and a full report is to be released at the end of the month. In its summary of findings, the mission questioned the legal framework governing or related to the elections, including the Constitution. The SADC LA noted that enactment of the six electoral laws weeks before the start of the primary elections may have had an adverse effect on voter education and in the capacity of the election officers to discharge their responsibilities in accordance with the newly-enacted legislation, because they may not have been aware of the new legislation. The observers also stated that the promulgation of the Acts did not provide enough time for the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and civil society groups to conduct civic education on the elections.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) authorities declared on Thursday that they have sufficient time to prepare for the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in 2014. The message from MEC Chairperson Anastasia Msosa follows comments from the legal affairs committee of parliament that Malawi is not ready to hold the tripartite elections in 2014 due to financial and time constraints. The committee also feared that rushing the polls will not lead to free, fair and credible general elections thereby proposing for 2019. However, Msosa said the institution’s view is that two years is enough to prepare for a free, fair and credible election.
A new website, Electionnaire Egypt, hosted by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) was launched this week, serving as an interactive electoral questionnaire that will help users find the party that is best suited to their views for upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections. The site is hosted in both Arabic in English, and was designed by ANHRI to serve as an interactive host made to stimulate public debate and enlighten citizens politically.
“Electionnaire Egypt will not constrain any of the voters’ options. In fact, it will encourage discussions on political education in Egypt and will stimulate public debates. This project will help in filling the information gap regarding the general elections, which will be free for the first time,” said ANHRI in a statement on Wednesday.