Monday, March 09, 2009
Addendum: MEC has now a website at http://www.mec.org.mw/
19th May 2009 is fast approaching. Definitely, this will not be an ordinary day for Malawians. On this day, eligible voters will trek to various polling stations to participate in the fourth multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections. After all the campaigning, contestants shall have to wait on the verdict by voters on this day. As in any race, there will be winners and losers. If there is transparency in the electoral process, losers will honourably accept that maybe that is not their time to win. As the wise man said everything has a season. Time to lose an election and time to win an election.
Picture courtesy of VOA News
However, one thing that determines the success of an election is transparency. If an electoral process is transparent, various stakeholders could quickly agree on an outcome of the result. With the counting of votes being crucial, one would expect the announcement of official results to be publicly available through all form of media such as radio, television, newspapers, etc
Of course, some have advocated for the establishment of a parallel tally centre for the forthcoming elections. This issue is quite debatable but one thing that is certain is that people would want that official results be announced to the public as the results will be trickling in from different polling stations. This would enhance the spirit of transparency.
In my opinion, I think that one of the ways through which the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) could foster transparency in the electoral process is through the establishment of its own website. Unless I am mistaken, I have not yet come across a website for Mec. A google search for Mec website also yields nothing except website links that talk something about Mec.
A website for Mec will definitely serve as one of the platforms through which Mec would make official general announcements to the public. In addition to this, election results would be posted on the website as the vote counting process would be unfolding. This would give the public real-time updates of the vote-counting process.
We also know that the election would also attract the attention of the international community. In addition to this, we should also not forget Malawians who are living abroad. The electoral process would also be of high interest to them. The Mec website would therefore also help these stakeholders to follow the electoral process in Malawi through an official website of Mec. Otherwise, they will do so through grapevine websites!