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Malawi

In law
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In practice
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Malawi has no legislation in place to regulate political finance. The only relevant law is the Constitution, which bans the use of state resources during campaigns. Nevertheless, such resources are often used. No other legislation exists, and enforcement, as a result, is absent.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
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        MODERATE
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no law whatsoever that provides for public financing of election campaigns, neither to the individual candidate nor to the political party in any elections (Parliamentary, Presidential and/or local elections).

        However, the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi provides for state funding towards political parties that have met prescribed requirements. Section 40(2) of the Constitution States that: “The State shall provide funds so as to ensure that during the life of any Parliament any political party which has secured more than one tenth of the national vote in elections to that Parliament has sufficient funds to continue to represent its constituency”. This funding is not restricted from use in election campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Malawi Government, The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1994), Section 40(2), accessible on http://www.malawi.gov.mw/images/Publications/act/Constitution%20of%20Malawi.pdf

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        2
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        NO
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no law whatsoever that provides for public financing of election campaign, neither to the individual candidate nor to the political party in any elections (Parliamentary, Presidential and/or local elections).

        However, the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi provides for state funding towards political parties that have met prescribed requirements. Section 40(2) of the Constitution States that: “The State shall provide funds so as to ensure that during the life of any Parliament any political party which has secured more than one tenth of the national vote in elections to that Parliament has sufficient funds to continue to represent its constituency”. This funding is not restricted from use in election campaign. The actual amount of money that can be made available for purposes of this public financing of qualifying political parties is left to the discretion of government.

        While public funding is limited to only those parties with representation in Parliament, the constitutional threshold -that of more than 10% of the national vote- assumes an electoral system that is currently not in use in Malawi. In applying this constitutional provision, the general practice has so far been to consider 10% of representation in Parliament (hence a threshold of at least 19 Members of Parliament in the 193 member National Assembly. In so doing, it would appear that the framers of the Malawi constitution assumed that securing 10% of a national vote would translate into some form of representation in Parliament. This unfortunately is only possible in a country in which the electoral system is based on pure proportional representation (without any legal threshold). The underpinning principle of such a system is the deliberate attempt to translate a share of votes won into a corresponding proportion of seats in the legislature, senate or other elective bodies.

        The relationship between votes won and number of seats a party may have is not that perfect under First-Past-the Post (FPTP), a system that is used in Malawi. Under FPTP, it is possible to get 10% of the national vote or even more but not get a single seat in parliament. It is therefore not surprising to see that in effect, the constitutional provision has for practical reasons, been replaced with numbers of MPs that a party has in parliament (meaning 10% of seats in Parliament).

        Once the amount of money to be made avialable to qualifying year in given financial year has been determeined by Government, it is left to Parliament to determine how the actual distribution is going to be made. Here, there is no actual formula written down. However, according to the Financial Controller at Parliament, a "tradition" has been established to proportionally distribute the funds available based on the votes a party has secured in national elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Malawi Government, The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1994), Section 40(2), accessible on http://www.malawi.gov.mw/images/Publications/act/Constitution%20of%20Malawi.pdf;

        [Telephone Interview] Emmanuel Liwimbi, Committee Clerk, National Assembly, 10 August 2014

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        In practice, no political party or candidate receives any public funds for election campaign in any election in Malawi. It is true that political parties that meet the threshold of securing 10% of the national vote in national elections do qualify for public funding which is not in anyway restricted in terms of its usage. This in practice means that in an election year, it is possible for a party to use part of this funding for election campaign.

        Interview with party officials from the Malawi Congress Party and United Democratic Front show that in practice, no party can count on the public funding for campaign purposes. The reason here is that the money received is "so little in amount" that it only helps to meet some administrative costs for the party that qualify.

        Information sourced through Mr. Kelvin Jungini, the Chief Accountant at the Malawi National Assembly, through which public funding for political parties is channeled show that since 2009, Parliament has been setting aside MWK35,000,000.00 (US$87,500.00) as an annual allocation for public funding of parties which is then disbursed quarterly to all qualifying political parties based on the share of votes that a party in question has amassed in national elections. This allocation mechanism is unwritten, and not defined in any legislation; it is left to Parliament to determine how the actual distribution is made. According to the Financial Controller at Parliament, a "tradition" has been established to proportionally distribute the funds available based on the votes a party has secured in national elections. Until now, there have been no exceptions to the disbursement according to this informal standard.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        [Interview], Kelvin Jingini, Chief Accountant, National Assembly, Lilongwe, 23.07.2014

        [Phone Interview], Honorable Lington Berekanyama, MP, Director of Research, Malawi Congress Party, 22 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Ken Ndanga, Publicity Secretary, United Democratic Front, 22 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview] Emmanuel Liwimbi, Committee Clerk, National Assembly, 10 August 2014

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        In Malawi, public funding for political parties is channeled through the National Assembly (Parliament). Since 2009, Parliament has been setting aside MWK35,000,000.00 (US$87,500.00) as an annual allocation for public funding of parties. What this means in practice is that public funding of political parties is treated as a budget line under the budget for National Assembly.

        With regard to disbursement, the procedure is as follows: Following general elections, the number of political parties that qualify for public funding is known based on the constitutional formula as laid down under Section 40(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (a party has to obtain at least 10% of the national vote for it to qualify). The Controlling Officer at the National Assembly (in this case the Clerk of Parliament) then informs Treasury (in this case the Accountant General) of the parties that have qualified. Treasury disburses the funds to Parliament. It is the Clerk of Parliament, in his/her capacity as Controlling Officer who then prepares actual payments to political parties. Such payments are made on a quarterly basis. No information of the disbursement made is made public.

        The disbursements made are only known to the leadership of the parties concerned. An ordinary citizen can access such information but not without difficulties. For instance, the information that has been used in this research was sourced through persistent calls and inquiries and using the researcher's own connections. The formal request that the research submitted to the office of the Public Relations Officer at the National Assembly through e-mail on 22nd July 2014 was not responded to for more than a month to the point that the researcher had to simply give up and relied on the information that was sourced through informal connections. This information was corroborated through interviews with some political party representatives hence the figures presented are valid.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        [Interview], Kelvin Jingini, Chief Accountant, National Assembly, Lilongwe, 23.07.2014

        [Phone Interview], Honorable Lington Berekanyama, MP, Director of Research, Malawi Congress Party, 22 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Ken Ndanga, Publicity Secretary, United Democratic Front, 22 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
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        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, Section 193(4) clearly states that "No government or political party shall cause any civil servant, acting in that behalf to deploy resources, whether they be financial, material or human resources, for the purposes of promoting or undermining any political party or member of a political party or interest group, nor shall any civil servant acting in that behalf cause such deployment, save as prescribed by this Constitution or an Act of Parliament ..."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Malawi Government, The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1994), Section 193(4); http://www.malawi.gov.mw/images/Publications/act/Constitution%20of%20Malawi.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In many instances, it is the party in power that tends to make use of State resources, particularly public media. The Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority, MACRA, noted in its media monitoring report of April 2014, (when the official campaign for the May 2014 general elections had already been launched) that Peoples Party (the party then in power) had the highest coverage (60%) on the public media. Similarly, the party in power tends to have access to other public resources such vehicles and helicopters that give the incumbent an advantage over others. Like her predecessors before, President Joyce Banda of the Peoples Party (PP) was the only presidential candidate who actually made use of government resources such as the official government vehicles, helicopters and state security.

        People ’s Party (PP) Vice President for the central region Uladi Mussa was also quoted by the press (Daily Times) on 14th March 2014 confirming use by the incumbent president of state resources when he was challenging other presidential contestants in the May 20 tripartite elections that President Joyce Banda was "the most resourceful of all with state resources at her disposal" arguing that among the 11 candidates that had been approved approved by the Malawi Electoral Commission, it was President Banda who had the capacity to crisscross the country to campaign for the country’s highest office, saying “Our president has everything. She even has a state helicopter at her disposal and can fly around the country conducting campaign.” True to this assertion, it was only the then incumbent President Banda who made use of government vehicles, government helicopter and dominated the public media.

        Peer Reviewer comment: Disagree and recommend a lower score of 0. There is no clear distinction between a political party meeting and a governemnt meeting when the president is in attendance. So-called development meetings usually are campgain meetings. The most abused resource has been traditional Chiefs. In Malawi Chiefs fall under the ministry of local governemnt and rural development they use governemnt resources in their discharge of duties hence they are often prone to abuse. Allegations of the president using state maize to woo voters has also surfaced in the run up to the elections. Ruling parties have failed to explain where the source of the largesse/freebies they dish out during electoral campgains, which are assumed to belong to the government. Dan Msowoya, Political Analyst said in an interview, "State Resources continue to be abused here during elections particularly by ruling parties due to the absence of relevant legislation. It is so blatant that one wonders where we throw our conscience and morality. And yet they deny using public resources, hiding behind the oath of secrecy at Cabinet, which inhibits disclosure of resources committed to the political rallies. Ruling parties contravene the law so liberally when it comes to using public resources. Usually they term the campaign rallies government development rallies. Malawians still fear government to such an extent that they let things go - Laissez faire attitude."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        [Interview] Wisdom Chimgwede, Independent Media Practitioner, Lilongwe, 09 August 2014.

        [News Article], President Banda has state resources for campaign, by Times Reporter, BNL Times, 18 March 2014, http://timesmediamw.com/president-banda-has-state-resources-for-campaign-rulling-partys-regional-vice-president/

        Malawi Electoral Support Network, Long Term Observation Report April 1 to 15, 2014, http://www.mesnmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/MESN-LTO-April-First-Half-Report.pdf

        [News Article], Empower MEC on abuse of Public Resources- Expert by Rex Chikoko, September 8 2013,The Nation News Paper, http://mwnation.com/empower-mec-abuse-public-resources-expert/

        [Court Judgement], Malawi Electoral Commission vs The United Democratic Front, MSCA CIVIL APPEAL NO. 14 OF 2004 (Being High Court Constitutional Case No. 5 of 2004); http://www.sdnp.org.mw/judiciary/civil/MECRepublcanParty.htm

        [News Article], Malewezi urges MEC to be tough on abuse of public resources in campaign, Nysa Times, September 9, 2013, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/09/09/malewezi-urges-mec-to-be-tough-on-abuse-of-public-resources-in-campaign/comment-page-2/

        Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority, MACRA Airtime Monitoring: 6th - 12th April, http://www.macra.org.mw/downloads/NationalandRegionalMediaPoliticalMonitoringReport6th%20-12thApril_2014.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Dan Msowoya, political analyst, Mzuzu, by phone and email - September 23 and 25, 2014

        Maurice Nkawihe, "Kapito condemns maize handouts at political rallies", Nyasa Times, Feb 19, 2014, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/02/19/kapito-condemns-jb-maize-handouts-at-political-rallies/

        Temweni Nga'mbi, "PP Hires Chiefs to Defend JB on Maize Handouts", Malawi 24, 2 March 2014, http://malawi24.com/pp-hires-chiefs-to-defend-jb-on-maize-handouts/comment-page-1/

        Collins Mitka, "Malawi elections: Big four vie for power", Mail & Guardian, May 16, 2014, http://mg.co.za/article/2014-05-16-malawi-elections-big-four-vie-for-power

        "Malawi President told to open ears and save resources", Nyasa Times, January 10, 2014, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/01/10/malawi-president-told-to-open-her-ears-and-save-resources/

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        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        There is no law in Malawi that mandates the provision of free or subsidized access to airtime to political parties and individual candidates - such is left to the discretion of the Commission. In 47 (2), the law states: "The Commission may, by arrangement with the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, allocate time on the radio during which candidates may be allowed to speak in campaigning for an election and the Commission shall allocate equal time to every candidate."

        However, political parties and candidates are entitled to "equal treatment" by the media during an election period. For instance, Section 58 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA) passed in 1998 states that "Every public officer and public entity or authority shall give and be seen to give equal treatment to all political parties to enable each party to conduct its campaign freely". According to Section 66 of the same Act, this provision (Section 58) applies in relation to the campaigning not only by political parties but also by independent candidates. While the PPEA only refers to public entities, the Communications Act (1998) goes further to include all broadcasting licensees. Section 6 of the Third Schedule of the said Act states that "During any election period, all broadcasting licensees shall ensure equitable treatment of political parties, election candidates and electoral issues."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Section 47 and 58, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998); http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

        Section 6, Third Schedule, Malawi Communications Act (1998); http://www.macra.org.mw/downloads/Communications%20Act%201998.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In Malawi, the official campaign period commences two months before polling. The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is mandated by law to ensure that there is an equal playing field during this period. This includes ensuring that all political parties and candidates have equal access particularly to the public media. According Section 58 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act of 1998, "Every public officer and public entity or authority shall give and be seen to give equal treatment to all political parties to enable each political party to conduct its campaign freely"

        According to Director of Media and Public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa, during the official campaign period running towards the May 2014 general elections, MEC paid for each participating political party a three minute airtime slot for the party to have their political campaign message aired. The Director of Media and Public relations at MEC also indicated during the interview for this study that in addition to this three minute media slot, MEC also offered each party to have a recorded TV programme for their respective presidential candidates. However, this "opportunity" was not used by any of the political party for reasons "best known to the parties". When contacted, the Director of Research of the Malawi Congress Party, Hon. Lington Belekanyama observed that while it is true that MEC offered the free airtime, the party found it difficult to make use of this particularly as they were not sure that the public media would air their messages unedited. Besides, the "free" airtime used was considered by the parties as not being sufficient compared to the time that parties could purchase on their own.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Director of Media and Public Relations, Malawi Electoral Commission, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview] Hon. Lington Belekanyama, Director of Research, Malawi Congress Party, 24th July 2014

        [News Artcle] MBC to Give Equal Coverage to All Political Parties by Malawi News Agency published by allafrica.com; http://allafrica.com/stories/201404080748.html, 8th April, 2014

        Section 58, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998); http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
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        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        There is no law that bans any cash contributions to political parties and/or candidates. As a matter of fact, Section 66 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998) allows parties and candidates an any election to solicit contributions from any source and in any form as it states that "Every political party may, for purposes of financing its campaign appeal for and receive voluntary contributions from any individual or non governmental organisation or other private organisation in or outside Malawi."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Section 66, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998). http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

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        10
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        NO
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no legal requirement to disclose funding sources and report on campaign spending.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation

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        NO
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no requirement to disclose funding sources and report on campaign spending.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation

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        12
        Score
        NO
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no requirement to disclose funding sources including and report on campaign spending.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
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        13
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there are no clear rules for campaign finance. There is no requirement to disclose funding sources and neither are there any limits set on contributions from individual.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation

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        14
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there are no clear rules for campaign finance. There is no requirement to disclose funding sources and neither are there any limits set on contributions from corporations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation.

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        15
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        In Malawi, contributions from foreign sources are not banned. In fact, according to Section 66 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998), "Every political party may, for purposes of financing its campaign, appeal for and receive voluntary contributions from any individual or any non-governmental organisation or other private organisation in or outside Malawi"

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Section 66 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998). http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

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        16
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        NO
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        In Malawi, political parties are allowed by law to solicit contributions from any source and no limits are set on such contributions. Section 66 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998) only states that: "Every political party may, for purposes of financing its campaign, appeal for and receive voluntary contributions from any individual or any non-governmental organisation or other private organisation in or outside Malawi"

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Section 66 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998). http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

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        17
        Score
        NO
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In Malawi campaign spending is not regulated in any way. Thus, there is no law that sets any limits to a maximum amount that parties and/or candidates can spend on election campaign

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation.

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        18
        Score
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        Malawi is a unitary state. Thus, national laws apply at all levels. The absence of a legal framework governing political financing at a national level is felt at all levels of society.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Not applicable in the case of Malawi

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        19
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        --
        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The way political parties in Malawi are financed is what one can describe as the “best kept secret”. With a political financing regulatory regime absent, of course, few things are known. For instance, it is known that those political parties that secure more than 10% of the national vote in national elections are entitled to state funding according to Section 40(2) of the constitution. However, according to the information available at the Parliament, this amount is rather meager. Since 2009, the annual allocation for public funding of political parties has been MWK35,000,000 (translating into US$87500). Between 2009 and 2014, three political parties qualified. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was entitled to 56% of this total, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was allocated 23% and the United Democratic Front (UDF) received 21%. In real terms, this means that even a party such as the DPP that was receiving the lion's share of public funding, had at its disposal only about US$4000 monthly as public funding. According to Hon. Berekanyama, the Director of Research in the MCP, the public subsidy is "too little for any party to rely on". Parties use this money mainly to meet some of their administrative costs. For election campaigns, they have to look to other sources.

        Political parties in Malawi therefore survive largely on private funding. This comes in many forms. Membership fees are one source but not worth reckoning with given the fact that no party in Malawi sells membership cards. The larger portion of private funding comes from the founders and the so-called well wishers and ‘senior members of the party’. For instance, for quite some time, former President, Bakili Muluzi was the main financier of the United Democratic Front.

        The party in power also tends to exploit its incumbency advantage. As noted by the European Union Observor Mission to the 2014 general elections in Malawi, "the lack of explicit prohibition of the use of state resources for campaigning, as already highlighted by the 2009 EU EOM, opens up the possibility of blurring between the ruling party resources and state resources" In their report, they recommend the "Introcution of a clearn and enforceable ban on the use of state resources for campaigning purposes.... together with an independent oversight mechanism..."


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. As an example of private funding, an international company bankrolled a Presidential candidate and her party. The South African based defence and aerospace firm, Paramount Group allegedly funded former Peoples Party President Joyce Banda's campgain in this year's polls. Banda had lavished the company with lucrative contracts in armaments, fuel and agriculture. Also, according to Analysts, individuals in the diaspora sometimes sponsor election campaigns and also the private sector who anticipate business favours once the party they supported gets into power.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014;

        [Interview], Mr. Kelvin Jingini, Chief Accountant, National Assembly, Lilongwe, 23 July 2014;

        [Phone Interview] Mr. Ken Ndanga, Publicity Secretary, United Democratic Front, 22 July 2014;

        [Phone Interview], Hon. Lington Berekanyama, MP, Director of Research, Malawi Congress Party, 22 and 24 July 2014;

        European Union Election Observer Mission , Final Report on Malawi Final Report: Presidential, Parliamentary, and Local Council Elections, 20 May 2014; http://www.eueom.eu/files/pressreleases/english/EUEOMMALAWI2014_FinalReport.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Interview Moses Mkandawire, Director Church and society Programme, Malawi, Mzuzu, in person - September 24 and 28, 2014.

        Interview with Dan Msowoya, Political Analyst, Mzuzu, by phone and email - September 23 and 25, 2014.

        Collins Mitka, "Malawi government up in arms after Banda's $144-m deal", Mail & Guardian, 12 Sept 2014, http://mg.co.za/article/2014-09-11-malawi-government-up-in-arms-after-bandas-144-m-deal

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        This question is not applicable to Malawi as there are no contribution or expenditure restrictions.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
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        21
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Although political parties that secure at least 10% of the national vote in national elections are entitled to public funding through Parliament as per Section 40(2) of the Constitution, neither the Constitution nor any other law require those parties that have been funded or that have received any contribution to report on the usage of the funds or contributions so received.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        22
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no law that requires political parties or candidates to report on their financial information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        23
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        There is no law in Malawi that requires political parties to report on their financial information on a quarterly basis, or indeed at all.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        24
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        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        No political party or candidate in Malawi reports on any financial information. As a matter of fact, it is very difficult to get to know the financial status of any political party in this country. As Dr. Felix Lombe, one of the political analysts noted, parties in Malawi are the "least transparent entities". The Director of Research for Malawi Congress Party, Hon. Lington Beleka Nyama also noted that it is not practical to expect political parties to report on their financial information when there is no law that requires them to do so. According to him, the question therefore is: to whom would they have to report? Emmanuel Liwimbi, a Committee clerk at the National Assembly also observed that although it would naturally be expected of those parties that receive public funding to make their financial information known, there has never been an occasion when any of the parties has done so.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Emmanuel Liwimbi, Parliamentary Committee Clerk (Public Accounts Committee), 24 July 2014

        Phone Interview], Hon. Lington Belekanyama, Director of Research and Member of Parliament, Malawi Congress Party, 24 July 2014

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        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        No political party or candidate in Malawi report on any financial information. As a matter of fact, it is very difficult to get to know the financial status of any political party in this country. As Dr. Felix Lombe, one of the political analysts noted, parties in Malawi are the "least transparent entities". The Director of Research for Malawi Congress Party, Hon. Lington Beleka Nyama also noted that it is not practical to expect political parties to report on their financial information when there is no law that requires them to do so. According to him, the question therefore is: to whom would they have to report? Emmanuel Liwimbi, a Committee clerk at the National Assembly also observed that although it would naturally be expected of those parties that receive public funding to make their financial information known, there has never been an occasion when any of the parties has done so.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Emmanuel Liwimbi, Parliamentary Committee Clerk (Public Accounts Committee), 24 July 2014

        Phone Interview], Hon. Lington Belekanyama, Director of Research and Member of Parliament, Malawi Congress Party, 24 July 2014

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        NO
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        There is no law that obliges political parties and/or candidates in Malawi to make available to the public their financial information.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. In general Malawi has no access to information legislation. However, section 37 of the republic constitution states that "Subject to any Act of Parliament, every person shall have the right of access to all information held by the State or any of its organs at any level of Government in so far as such information is required for the exercise of his rights". In Febraury, 2014, the Malawi government approved an access to information policy thereby paving way for the enactment of the access to information bill, which has been warehoused at parliament for 11 years. However, passage has since been delayed.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There is no applicable legislation.

        Reviewer's sources: "Malawi Cabinet Approves Access to Information Policy", Freedominfo.org, 6 Feb 2014, http://www.freedominfo.org/2014/02/malawi-cabinet-approves-access-information-policy/

        Tembo and Namadzunda, "Information bill not yet ready for Parliament - Minister" Nyasa Times, 16 Setp 2014, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/09/16/information-bill-not-ready-for-malawi-parliament-minister/,

        "Malawi government justifies decision to defer information bill", Nyasa Times, 23 Sept 2014, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/09/23/malawi-govt-justifies-decision-to-defer-information-bill/

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        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        In Malawi, it is not that easy for every citizen to access financial information of political parties and/or candidates. As one analyst put it, this (financial information) is the "best kept secret" of all political parties. Even officers or persons that would be expected to have some access to this information cannot divulge financial information when asked.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Emmanuel Liwimbi, Parliamentary Committee Clerk (Public Accounts Committee), 24 July 2014

        Phone Interview], Hon. Lington Belekanyama, Director of Research and Member of Parliament, Malawi Congress Party, 24 July 2014

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        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        Financial information for political parties in Malawi is never published in any manner or form, neither in law nor in practice.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Independent Analyst, 24 July 2014

        [Phone Interview], Emmanuel Liwimbi, Parliamentary Committee Clerk (Public Accounts Committee), 24 July 2014.

        Phone Interview], Hon. Lington Belekanyama, Director of Research and Member of Parliament, Malawi Congress Party, 24 July 2014.

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        29
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        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Political finance data is non-existent in Malawi. According to Wisdom Chimgwede, an investigative journalist from the Nation News Paper, it is, as a matter of fact, not possible to access information regarding political financing. Much of what is written is hearsay, based simply on the grapevine. A review of news paper articles published under the period under review also confirm the fact that no mainstream journalism media outlet was able to publish any political finance data.

        Given that this indicator is only referring to the use of officially published political finance data, and not information available through leaks or other inside sources that journalists may use, it can be concluded that in Malawi, no mainstream journalism media use political finance data in their reporting.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

        Centre for Social Concern, Monthly Press Reviews, January 2013-July 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 19 August 2014

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        30
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        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        In Malawi, the only legislation that makes reference to political financing is Section 40(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi which states that "The State shall provide funds so as to ensure that during the life of any Parliament, any political party which has secured more than one-tenth of the national vote in elections to that Parliament has sufficient funds to continue to represent its constituency". The funds so provided have no conditions attached. Given that beyond this constitutional provision, there are no any other political finance laws, it is not surprising that during the period under review, there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election. As a matter of fact, there was no law that could be violated, and only by this reason were there no documented incidents.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. In the absence of officially available information, the problem remains that the press do not dig enough to make their own calculations of what they see and then to verify.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 19 August 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Interview Lance Ngulube, former Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter, Mzuzu, by emails, September 24 and 25, 2014.

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        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        Vote buying, understood in the Malawian context as the culture of "hand out" was a common phenomenon in recent national elections in Malawi that took place on 20 May 2014. For instance, in the run up towards these elections, the then Malawi President, Joyce Banda, traveled extensively around the country, holding campaign events dubbed “development rallies,” where she would hand out bags of maize, livestock, houses for the poor and elderly and even motorbikes to the youth. At her final campaign stop, at the town of Songani in her home district of Zomba, the president gave away a truckload of new motorbikes to bike taxi operators in the area.

        Other politicians also did like wise. They gave cash an assortment of cash and gifts in the hope of securing votes. the media reported for instance that Patricia Kaliati, the director of the women’s wing of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), described handouts as “a winning strategy” for most political candidates in Malawi. In Zomba, the nation’s former colonial capital, a DPP parliamentary candidate running for re-election went as far as offering a fleet of buses to ferry commercial commuters for free in the weeks leading to the elections. This was also the case in the city of Lilongwe where a candidate from the Peoples Party (PP) also offered her minibuses to ferry people for free between Likuni and old Town in the run-up towards elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Political finance data is non-existent in Malawi. According to Wisdom Chimgwede, an investigative journalist from the Nation News Paper, it is, as a matter of fact, not possible to access information regarding political financing.

        Civil society organisations such as the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) and Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Malawi) have been advocating for reforms to ensure that there is transparency in this regard (of political finance). The CMD-Malawi has gone to the extent of preparing a draft legislation that has been submitted to the Attorney General for his consideration for forwarding to Parliament for debate and adoption. At a time of writing this report, however, there had just been a change in government in Malawi and it was not clear as to whether the current Attorney General will further pursue the initiative embarked upon by the CMD-Malawi.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview] Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nations Newspaper, 19 August 2014

        [Phone Interview] Dr. Felix Lombe, Political Analyst and Director of Programmes, Africa Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC); 19 August 2014

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        33
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        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        In the past ten years, there has been no legal reforms or proposals presented to Parliament with regard to political financing in Malawi. It is only now that the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Malawi) has initiated a debate on reforming the whole legal framework governing political parties in Malawi, including political financing. However, this debate has not yet reached the legislature.

        It is important to note that CMD-Malawi is a membership organization for political parties who are represented in the National Assembly of Malawi. Essentially, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy is a platform for dialogue for political parties as one way of strengthening multiparty democracy. The said reform initiative does have wide support of the CMD-M's member political parties and the public at large as manifested in similar calls for reform by other organisations such as the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN), among others.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        [Interview] Emmanuel Liwimbi, Parliamentary Committee Clerk, Lilongwe, 15 August 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 20 August 2014

        [Phone Interview] Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation News Paper, 19 August 2014

        George Banda, "CMD lobbying Malawi govt on political parties bill", Nyasa Times, 29 August 2014, http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/08/29/cmd-lobbying-malawi-govt-on-political-parties-bill/

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    Third Party Actors

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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
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        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Malawi has no such laws which would require third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) to report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority. As a result, no information is made publicly available if at all any of the said actors would make contributions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        There are no such laws in Malawi

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        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        In Malawi there are no laws that require any third party actors to report any electoral related contribution they make. Neither is there any oversight body that is tasked with the responsibility to receive and kind of reports related to such kind contributions in the event that they may be made. As such, in practice, third-party actors never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

        Centre for Social Concern, Monthly Press Reviews, January 2013-July 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 19 August 2014.

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        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Political finance data is non-existent in Malawi. This includes financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates. According to Wisdom Chimgwede, an investigative journalist from the Nation News Paper, it is, as a matter of fact, not possible to access information regarding political financing in Malawi. Much of what is written is hearsay, based simply on grapevine. A review of news paper articles published during the period under review also confirm the fact that no mainstream journalism media outlet was able to publish any political finance information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

        Centre for Social Concern, Monthly Press Reviews, January 2013-July 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 19 August 2014.

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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        Third party-actors in Malawi are not regulated in any way by law. Their finance information is also not available. It is therefore not possible for anyone to know how these actors obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.

        The involvement of third party actors in elections in Malawi is mainly noticeable through the work of civil society organisations (CSOs). These tend to be involved in voter education campaigns and election monitoring. They are required to remain non-partisan and they do stick to this.

        Invetiably, there are other thirs party actors such the business persons who get involved in partisian campaign activities. Their involvement is however too discrete for anyone to easily notice. Some business persons and third parties do sponsor or avail themselves during fundraising events. Such public appearances tend to happen in events where a governing party is involved.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. In the run up to the elections, The South Africa based Ichikowitz Family Foundation, run by Ivor’s brother, Paramount Group executive director Eric Ichikowitz, allegedly lavished favours on former President Banda, including the free use of a jet, philanthropic donations to the Joyce Banda Foundation and cash for political campaigns before this year’s presidential elections.

        Banda had doled out to Paramount Group, lucrative contracts in arms, fuel and agriculture.

        The British Telegraph newspaper revealed last year that the foundation paid for a campaign by London-based PR company Bell Pottinger to rebuild Banda’s standing among foreign and local donors following a major corruption scandal that emerged under her watch where public servants fleeced her government of US$250 million of public funds.

        Ichikowitz’s brother, Paramount executive director Eric Ichikowitz, confirmed to The Telegraph that he had paid Bell Pottinger. “The family foundation believes that President Banda is a force for good in Malawi and that she is striving to improve the lives of all Malawians,” he explained. “It is keen for her efforts to be duly recognised by the international community and fairly represented in the international media.” He added that “there is absolutely no connection between contracts undertaken by Paramount Group and its companies and any charitable work undertaken by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation.”

        De Klerk said Parmount's support for Malawi “is a matter of public record. It became one of the issues of political debate in Malawi, among Malawian parties, and not with the group itself”.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        [Phone Interview], Wisdom Chimgwede, Investigative Journalist, Nation Publications, 20 August 2014

        Centre for Social Concern, Monthly Press Reviews, January 2013-July 2014

        [Interview] Dr. Gerard Chigona, Programme Manager, Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Lilongwe, 19 August 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Collins Mtika, "Malawi government up in arms after Banda’s 144m deal", Mail and Guardian, 12 September 2014, http://mg.co.za/article/2014-09-11-malawi-government-up-in-arms-after-bandas-144-m-deal

        "Malawi: SA defence company in close relationship with President", AAF online, 3 December 2013, http://www.aafonline.co.za/news/malawi-sa-defence-company-close-relationship-president

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

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      Monitoring Capabilities
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        38
        Score
        NO
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        There are no laws that provide for the establishment of an independent oversight authority to monitor political finance information in any way. While there is an Electoral Commission, it is not tasked with overseeing political finance in any way. Political finance information is therefore not subjected to any kind of monitoring.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Malawi Government, The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi (1994), http://www.mec.org.mw/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=EYRmv9D7DYk%3d&tabid=178

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        NO
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there are no laws that provide for the establishment of an independent oversight authority to monitor political finance information in any way.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        40
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        Given that there are no laws that provide for the establishment of an independent oversight authority to monitor political finance information in any way, nothing can be said about the practice of high-level appointments to the oversight authority.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        Score
        NO
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        In Malawi there are no laws that provide for the establishment of an independent oversight authority to monitor political finance information in any way. The question as to whether in law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed, is therefore not applicable.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        In so far as Malawi is concerned, there are no laws that provide for the establishment of an independent oversight authority to monitor political finance information in any way. The question as to whether in practice, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed, is therefore not applicable as this does not happen.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        In Malawi, there is no such a thing as an oversight authority tasked with overseeing political finance. In this regard, nothing can be said about decision-making work.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        Considering the fact that in Malawi, there is no authority whatsoever that is mandated by law to monitor political finance regulations, nothing can practically be said about "capacity to monitor political finance regulations."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        Considering the fact that in Malawi, there is no authority whatsoever that is mandated by law to monitor political finance regulations, there are in practice neither investigations nor audits that take place.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        Considering the fact that in Malawi, there is no authority whatsoever that is mandated by law to monitor political finance regulations,, there is no authority that conducts investigations or audits with respect to financial information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        Score
        NO
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        In Malawi there are no laws that provide for sanctions in response to political finance violations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such laws exist.

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        Score
        NO
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        In Malawi, there are no laws that provide for and oversight authority to monitor political financing. There is therefore no authority that can impose any sanctions related to any violation related to political financing.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such laws exist.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        Given that neither in law nor in practice are there sanctions imposed related to political financing, there is nothing that can be said about compliance of the same as these (sanctions) do not exist in the first instance.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Not applicable.

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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        Given that neither in law nor in practice is there any authority mandated to monitor political financing in Malawi, there is nothing one can say regarding current enforcement.

        Clearly, the state of political financing in Malawi is in great need of reform. To begin with, the present arrangement for public funding needs to be reconsidered as not only does it exclude those parties that do not meet the 10% threshold (and yet they have also the mandate to represent some sections of the electorate), it is also an arrangement that in effect, does not facilitate the evolution of a vibrant multiparty system of governance. A number of factors have to be considered in coming up with an alternative.

        Any system of public financing should strive to ensure that at the minimum, those political parties that have proved themselves as representative institutions of the electorate by winning at least a seat in Parliament or have obtained a reasonable minimum number of votes (say 5%) in national elections do have good chances of survival during the given legislative period to ensure that they can continue to represent their constituents. The importance of using legislative representation or a certain percentage of votes obtained in an election is that in this way, the system of public financing of political parties is not hijacked by unscrupulous individuals who may wish to use political parties as mere vehicles of private income generation.

        It is also important that any reform that is to be considered should balance proportionality with equity. Admittedly, it is very hard if not impossible to come up with a system of public financing that treats all political parties equally. However, it is important that any system that is adopted should aim at being fair. In the Malawian context, fairness should mean that at the minimum, the system of political party financing should aim at facilitating the levelling of political playing field. One way of doing this is to balance the principle of proportionality with some sense of equity. What may be recommended in this regard is an arrangement whereby:

        a) the amount of money to be allocated to deserving political parties is defined as a given % of the national budget so as to ensure that during any fiscal year, those political parties that qualify are assured of public funds; b) 50% of that amount is shared equally. In this way, you are striving to meet that basic principle of equity; c) 40% is shared based on the number of seats a party has in parliament or a minimum no votes obtained in elections. This is to ensure that those who have gotten representation mandate from the larger section of society are recognised and rewarded accordingly. In this way, public funding of political parties will also promote some healthy competition as parties will strive to increase their share of representation if they have to gain more on public funding; d) Tying the remaining 10% of state funding to the party’s adherence with certain agreed upon internal democratic elements like the regular holding of conventions, submission of party’s audited accounts to both its membership and other appropriate authorities, inclusion of a certain percentage of women and youths in the party’s leadership structures, among others. In this way, public financing of political parties may a go a long way in facilitating the institutionalisation of political parties.

        Other suggested reforms entail revising the whole legislative framework governing political parties in Malawi. There are basically two key legal instruments that are directly concerned with political parties: (a) the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and (b) The Political Parties Registration (and Regulation Act). In addition, political parties are also affected in various ways by other legislation like: The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act, The Local Government Act and The Local Government Elections Act.

        Section 40 of the Malawi Constitution provides for the foundation of political parties. The Constitution further provides for limited public financing of political parties, which we have noted that needs to be reconsidered. In addition, the Political Registration and Regulations Act of 1993 (amended in 1996) defines what a political party is according to the laws of Malawi. This Act is fundamental to political parties in Malawi. However, this particular law is also in great and urgent need for reform.

        It is also important to consider building into any reform of party law, the regulation of private financing of political parties. This is, of course, a very delicate matter as issues of respect for privacy and the need for transparency –both being basic democratic principles- have to be carefully balanced. Some considerations may include the following:

        a) Allowing political parties to raise funds privately from legitimate sources (both within and outside the country); b) In the event of money from outside the country, ensuring that sources are traceable and known; c) Agreeing on a ceiling beyond which it becomes mandatory for any party to declare sources of any donation that a party may receive; d) Requiring political parties to prepare and submit duly audited and publicly accessible financial returns to an appropriate authority every year; and e) Requiring that registration of political parties is renewed every year and such renewal will have to take into account all the necessary requirements that will have to be fulfilled, among them the issue of financial accountability. It is important to point out here that a majority of thesproposed reform are being pursued already, particularly by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Malawi). This (CMD-Malawi) is a membership organisation for political parties who are represented in the National Assembly of Malawi. (Thus, essentially, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy is a platform for dialogue for political parties). Through a consultative process, the CMD-Malawi has come up with a draft legislation for political parties which if adopted, would addressed a number of concerns regarding political financing, among other areas. The quest for reforms in the area of political financing is also being supported by the "post elections review" project being done by the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) a grouping of civil society organisations thatundertake electoral related initiatives.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The presence on Malawi's statutes of various laws that tackle political financing in broad and vague terms makes enforcement problematic and challenging. Therefore in the absence of a specific legislation that specifically tackle political financing, Malawi should try to harmosnise and strenghten current laws that in isolation tackle political financing. These are, the Local Government Act, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (1998), the Corrupt Practices Act, the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act of 1993 as amended by the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Act of 1996 and the (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities, and Business Interests) bill of 2013. Calls for electoral reforms are varied. The country's pollster, the Malawi Electoral Commission has been prodding government to spearhead the reformation of the country's electoral laws but it has been focusing on the need to have adequate funding for its operations and not political financing.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        CMD-Malawi, Proposed Political Parties Bill (2014)

        Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN), "Background and Agenda", Electoral Reforms- Regional Dialogue Meeting , Lilongwe , 26 August 2014;

        Augustine Magolowondo, Elin Falguera and Zefanias Matsimbe, "Regulating political party financing. Some insights from the praxis", International IDEA/NIMD, 2012: http://www.idea.int/publications/regulating-political-party-financing/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=57052

        Reviewer's sources: Interview with Dan Msowoya, Political Analyst, Mzuzu, by phone and email - September 23 and 25, 2014.

        Collins Mtika, "Malawi Presidency in legal limbo", Mail and guardian online, 30 May 2014, http://mg.co.za/article/2014-05-29-malawis-presidency-in-legal-limbo

        Theresa Chapulapula, "Malawi government rebuffs MEC on law reforms", Times Media, 23 July 2014, http://timesmediamw.com/malawi-government-rebuffs-mec-on-law-reforms

Malawi has national elections for a unicameral legislature and a directly elected presidential executive.

Representatives to the National Assembly are elected through a first-past-the post electoral system. They serve a five-year term and are eligible for indefinite reelection.

The Head of State is directly elected through a first-past-the post electoral system. The President serves a five-year term, and is limited to two terms.

Candidates may either be sponsored by a party or may stand as independent candidates. Neither parties nor individual candidates are funded publicly. Each party has its own ways of managing campaign funds that they raise privately and the ways in which such funds are managed are not known to the public.

The most recent elections took place on 20th May 2014. Sixteen political parties participated. Voters elected 462 Councillors for the 35 Councils,193 MPs and the President.