Development of Electoral Complaints Handling Guidelines and Procedures for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)
Malawi, Regional Bureau for Africa - MALAWI | Published December 4, 2017 - Deadline December 22, 2017
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is a body corporate created under Section 75 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi to administer, supervise and direct the conduct of elections in Malawi i.e. Parliamentary, Presidential, By-elections, Local Government and Referenda. The Commission conducts these elections in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act No.31 of 1993 (PPEA), Local Government Elections Act No.24 of 1996 and Electoral Commission Act No.11 of 1998 (ECA).The Commission has the constitutional mandate to determine electoral petitions and complaints related to the conduct of any election. It also has a legislative mandate to resolve complaints at every stage of the electoral process i.e. complaints relating to registration of voters, nomination process, campaign process and polling. In addition, before determination of the national result of an election, the Commission is required by law to decide on matters that are subject to any complaint. The legislative framework gives the Commission some quasi-juridical powers to determine election petitions and complaints subject to the right of appeal to the formal courts and this has been confirmed through judicial pronouncements both in the High Court and Supreme Court of Malawi. Despite having this mandate, the Commission does not have formal procedural guidelines to assist it in exercising its mandate as an electoral complaint handling tribunal.To comprehensively fulfil its mandate, the Commission, therefore, seeks to engage an Individual Consultant who will work with the Legal Directorate and other relevant MEC Staff members to develop guidelines and procedures for receipt, recording, investigation, resolving and communicating determinations of complaints at every stage of the electoral process i.e. registration, nomination, campaign, polling, and before the determination of results. The guidelines will also provide the relevant timelines of the complaints’ handling process.This activity will be implemented under the Malawi Electoral Cycle Support (MECS) Programme 2017-2019 which is a basket fund that has pooled resources from various development partners and is managed by UNDP. The MECS Project contributes directly to the SDG 16 goal of ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. The Project is structured around four outputs:(1) The MEC is trusted by the public and political parties as an impartial entity possessing the capacity to administer and manage elections in accordance with regional and international obligations and standards; (2) Strengthened women’s political empowerment throughout the electoral cycle.; (3) Enhanced ability of key stakeholders, including political parties, to contribute to orderly and inclusive elections; and (4) Effective and efficient management, partnership formation and monitoring and evaluation of the Project.