Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) managers last Friday received certificates after completing a five-day course on Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE).
Declaring the course officially closed, the pollsterâ€™s chairperson Anastasia Msosa was optimistic the course has built their capacity to conduct credible elections.
As the country is approaching the fourth multi-party general elections in 2009, this will help us treat all our stakeholders equally so that we conduct free, fair, transparent and accessible elections,â€ said Msosa.
Still more, Msosa said the course would bear more fruits if all its principle stakeholders, who include political parties, NGOs, the media and government, were trained as well.
However, a BRIDGE consultant Rushdi Nackerdien who facilitated the course said electoral bodies in Africa could only operate effectively if they became complete independent.
"The problem is that most governments of the day think they are above everybody hence control even electoral bodies
The course enabled Mec senior managers from across the country to learn the conduct of elections on registration and civic and voter education, and exposed them to theoretical and best electoral practices.
To avoid problems encountered in the 2004 general elections like some names missing and pictures getting blurred, the commission will between March and April, 2008 make fresh votersâ€™ rolls.
We have done a lot of work on the new voters rolls by installing and acquiring equipments like laptop computers, printers and savers", said Msosa in an interview.
Mec election projects are funded by UNDP, Usaid, Norway/Sweden, GTZ, EU and DfID.