Posted with permission from allAfrica.com

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairman Justice Dr. Jane Ansah SC has revealed that her body has adopted and will use the Biometric Voters Registration System in order to ease some of the challenges faced during the voting process in previous general elections.

Ansah disclosed this at the opening of a day long validation workshop for the electoral body's strategic Plan that will be used between the period of 2018 to 2022.

While admitting that there have been lots of challenges in previous elections, Ansah said MEC as an electoral body mandated to conduct and manage elections in the country, MEC always strives to deliver the

best product to the nation in the form of credible, free, fair, transparent and cost effective elections.

"There were always cases of misselled names, missing or transposed picture or wrong birth dates. The Commission has adopted a biometric voter registration system to eliminate all these challenges. This is

just one area of reforms that MEC is implementing but there could be many," said the MEC Chairperson.

She, therefore, called upon stakeholders present at the validation workshop to openly give out their thoughts on how best to achieve successful reforms at MEC.

"This is the time to condense those ideas into this document [Strategic Plan] that will become our reference book for the next five years. We need to break the circus of recurring challenges to demonstrate that we are making strides in improving elections quality," said Justice Ansah.

The 2018-2022 Strategic Plan is the fourth one after other strategic plans formulated between 2001-2004, 2005-2009 and 2013-2017.

The process of coming up with the latest strategic plan is being funded by the European Union (EU) through a basket fund managed by UNDP.

"While this strategic plan spans five years, let us also not lose focus that in May we will hold tripartite elections," she concluded.