On 3 February 2020, the High Court of Malawi sitting on constitutional matters nullified the presidential election that was held on 21 May 2019. That decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 8 May 2020. Various reforms were ordered by the courts and legislated by Parliament, most notably a change in the electoral system, from a simple majoritarian, or first-past-the-post (FPTP), system to a two-round system where the winner must receive over 50 per cent of the votes.
A fresh presidential election was held on 23 June 2020 under the supervision of a new commission, and Malawi made history in Africa on 27 June when the opposition candidate was announced victorious in the fresh presidential election. The repeat election was held in a largely peaceful environment, and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) did not receive any complaints following the announcement of the result.
Given the remarkable events that took place in Malawi, the Executive Committee of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries (ECF-SADC) recommended that the MEC should be given the opportunity to share its experience regarding the fresh presidential election of 23 June 2020 with other member commissions. The ECF-SADC in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) organized a webinar on 31 August 2020 to strengthen peer review among electoral management bodies (EMBs) in the region of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The webinar provided a platform for peer-learning concerning both the conduct of the fresh presidential election in Malawi and emerging regional trends in electoral justice.
List of acronyms and abbreviations
1. Executive summary
5. Report on the webinar
6. Lessons learned and key recommendations
About International IDEA