The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has urged all political parties to do more to increase the representation of women in electoral processes through their party machinery. In a statement from MEC after announcement of results for parliamentary seats and local government elections Tuesday, the Commission says it did its part to increase the participation of women as candidates saying, " the Commission provided a 25 percent discount for nomination fees," reads the statement in part.
The Commission stressed the importance of women's role in politics adding that they are a crucial voice in our society. "The role and need for greater female representation has been a
feature of many international and national observer reports," says the
report. According to the MEC report for Parliamentary elections a total of
1,292 candidates from 17 parties and 417 independent candidates competed
and only 261 of these candidates were women while for Local Councilor
elections 2, 412 candidates from 18 parties and 576 independent
candidates competed. Of these, only 419 women competed.
MEC through the statement has also commended Malawians for turning up
in large numbers to vote for councilors as compared to voter turnout in
the year 2000. "For the Local Government Elections in the year 2000, allow me to
remind you that voter turnout was a mere 14 percent. In these elections
5,153,993 votes were cast. This represents 68.99 percent of registered
voters. Of these 121,170 or 2.35 percent were deemed to be null and
void," says the statement.
The Commission then said it was satisfied with the way the electoral
process was conducted in an orderly, calm and peaceful manner adding:
"The level of null and void votes across all races was historically low
for Malawi. Let me assure all voters that your Commission has done its
best to act inclusively throughout the election period, honouring its
commitment to Malawi's citizens and all political parties," it says
being backed by a European Union's Observation report which says these
elections have been transparent and inclusive to define solutions to
address the challenges that arose.
Source: Malawi News Agency