Statement On General Elections 2004 By PACENET Election Observers Mission Blantyre, May 21, 2004
We Election Observers under PACENET from DRC, Zimbabwe and Botswana, we wish to make this statement
following our observation Mission during the Malawi 2004 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
We observed the elections during polling and after polling before the announcement of the official
The purpose of our mission was to verify the voting, counting process and accuracy of the results. It
is unfortunate that we did not verify the accuracy of the tabulation of the results due to delayed
counting results in some polling centres.
DEPLOYMENT AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREA COVERED
The mission was in three teams and it covered the southern region of Malawi in the districts of Mulanje,
Zomba, Machinga, Blantyre, Mangochi, Balaka, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Thyolo. It sampled Thirty-one
(31) polling centres in rural, semi-urban and urban areas.
From the period and areas covered we observed the following:
Provision of adequate polling materials in all centres visited
Cordial cooperation among all polling officials(Monitors, Party agents, Electoral officials)
Most Polling centres opened on time
Neutral identification of all electoral stakeholders
Low voters turn out
Low media coverage of polling process
Lack of adequate knowledge of the polling procedure by monitors
Insufficient voter education
Sticky ink was used
High number of assisted voters in rural areas due to illiteracy and old age
Counting started late in some polling centres
Returning officers sent final results to the tally centres late when the national radio station had
already started announcing unofficial results by 9 PM on the polling day
By Afternoon Friday 21 st May, the Malawi Electoral Commission did not have even a third of the results
from the returning officer
Based on the findings we therefore recommend that in the future:
Malawi Electoral Commission, Government and Civil Society should intensify and consider Civic education
as on going activity
Government should (consider) come up with national identities for proper identification
We also recommend Public Media coverage by all political parties
Electoral officials to be properly and uniformly trained
The composition of the Malawi Electoral Commission be revisited for impartiality seek.
The Mission is of the view that the process of polling it observed was free. It is the wish of the mission
that the recommendations suggested are seriously considered for future elections.