The media in Malawi has been urged to be vigilant and pursue the implementation of the non-legislative electoral reforms which were agreed upon by the Electoral Commission, Political Parties under the umbrella body of the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) and the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN).
The call was made on Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, when MESN hosted heads of media houses in the country to a luncheon at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.
“On 14 October, we signed an agreement with MEC and CMD on the implementation of the non-legislative electoral reforms. Our friends in the broadcast and online media covered the event but there was silence in the print media. These issues, however, are for Malawians and we rely on you our colleagues in the media to make them known to the public,” said the MESN Chair, Steve Duwa.
The MESN Chair implored the media not to leave the duty of following up on the implementation of the agreed reforms to MESN and the Political Parties only.
At the luncheon, the heads of media houses were also informed that MEC had agreed to pilot some of the agreed non-legislative reforms in the November 1 by-elections.
Speaking at the same event, the Acting Director of Media and Public Relations at the Electoral Commission, Richard Mveriwa, indicated that the Commission was willing to pilot some of the reforms and would do so in the by-elections.
Upon the request of the heads of the media houses to indicate which reforms that the Commission would be implementing, Mveriwa indicated that the Electoral Commission would implement some of the reforms under the distribution of electoral day materials which includes a recommendation that MEC should not rationalise the distribution of electoral day materials.
It was however indicated that it is only after the by-election that it can be properly be established which reforms were piloted and the success or the challenges of the piloting.