Why should the Malawi Electoral Commission have a website?

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.

An elderly woman votes in Malawi (May 2004).
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!


acacia Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:06:00 PM  

why don't you blog the results as they are announced over the radio... i'm sure you'd get a lot of readers and this would be a great help to the diaspora.

Bennett Kankuzi Friday, March 13, 2009 11:28:00 AM  

@acacia: Yea indeed that's a nice suggestion. However, that will be results from an 'unofficial mouthpiece'. On the other hand, results from an official MEC website would be trusted by all people.


Todd Saturday, March 14, 2009 1:51:00 AM  

What a powerful post! I see clearly what you have written about. Yes, transparency in the process is the only way your vote can count, that you can count on.

I see you...

Beautiful Blessings Always,

Ivo Serentha and Friends Sunday, March 15, 2009 9:03:00 PM  

Greetings from Italy,good luck


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