"Together with the other EU observers, they will be the eyes and ears of the mission on election day during polling, counting and tallying of results," The obeservers" will enable our coverage of nearly all the districts in Malawi, observing in both urban and rural areas," Chief observer Miroslav Poche, told journalists in Blantyre as the third contigent of observers started off for their assignment.
Poche, a member of the European Parliament, said the observers will visit many polling stations on polling day and wil "not interefre in the process."
"They are there to watch and take note of how the voting is conducted, assessing issues such as respect of the right to vote, secrecy of the vote, performance of polling staff members, the role of monitors and domestic observers and women's participation," he said.
He said during the counting, obeservers will asess the "transparency, accuracy and intergrity of the process."
The EU mission will issue a preliminary statement two days after the elections and a final report with technical recommendations for future elections will be published later.
He said the EU's overall analysis will also include other aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of candidates and political parties, the extent to which there is a level playing field, media conduct, voting, counting, tallying, transmission of results and the resolution of any election-related disputes.
The EU says it has the mandate to conuct a comprehensive, impartial and long-term assessment of the electoral process.
The Commonwelath, African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are some of the international organisations who have sent sent observers to the sixth plurastic poll since the end of one-party rule in 1994.
Incumbent President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharka of the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), is seeking re-election to complete his mandatory two terms which will end in 2024. Key presidential challengers in this vote are Saulos Chilima of UTM and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which has been in opposition for 25 years.