n Journal of Public Administration and Development Alternatives (JPADA) - Free, fair and credible elections in Africa : challenges facing electoral administration in Malawi

Volume 4 Number 1-1
  • ISSN : 2415-5446


This article examines the challenges facing electoral administration in Malawi. It is based on empirical qualitative data gathered through systematic literature review. It contends that while holding elections is an indispensable element of democratic governance, it is the quality of election administration which affects the legitimacy of the electoral process and results. The article reveals that factors which include lack of independence, partiality, inadequate transparency and accountability and insecurity of tenure militate against effective electoral administration. Although the legal framework and electoral system tend to be satisfactory, there are flaws which undermine the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. There is a need for addressing the political-legal and structural factors which are complicated by the monopoly safeguards and privatisation of the state machinery by the incumbent as well as the uneven political field for electoral contestants.

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