|Participants with the facilitators and the Guest of Honour |
Commissioner Dr Nakanga (middle)
As part of the preparations for the 2014 Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission has organised a two-half day Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshop for Police Officers drawn from the Southern Region.
Speaking when he opened the workshop at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre, Commissioner Dr Wellington Mkwepu Nakanga said the training was one of the initiatives the Commission was taking as part of a capacity building exercise and building common understanding for electoral stakeholders.
Commissioner Dr Nakanga said it was the wish of the Commission that many stakeholders were able to understand the various electoral processes thereby achieving a common goal of delivering 2014 Tripartite Elections.
“The nation is anticipating that the elections will bring more challenges than we have had in the previous elections, because for the first time, we are going to have three ballot boxes.
“While it may be true that the election in 2014 is complex, the Commission believes that through engagement of stakeholders we will deliver a free and fair election,” he said.
The Commissioner said the MEC interested to see to it that its stakeholders discharged their duties in a professional manner with high integrity, dedication and professionalism regardless which sector they belonged to.
He said the training would help them to understand the security needs and challenges that are faced during the entire electoral process.
“The Commission cannot effectively deliver a free and fair election if security is not part of its agenda and is not guaranteed. Election management is complemented by security management,” he said.
The Commissioner added that availability of security strategies helps to ease incidences of violence and provides confidence and trust to stakeholders that they can participate freely in an election.
“During elections, proper security strategies help to safeguard electoral materials, electoral staff, candidates, financial resources and technologies. Lack of security can lead to theft of materials, chaos and violence among other things,” he said.
The training has been organized with funding from the EU under the Democratic Governance Programme.