SADC Head of Mission and Chair of Council of SADC Ministers on the Organ Joseph Malanji has expressed confidence that Madagscar would hold free and fair elections.
Speaking when he handed over his position to his alternate Dr. Katele Kalumba, Mr Malanji stated that he was confident that the work done by all stakeholders would likely necessitate the holding of free and fair elections.
He dismissed calls by a group of smaller parties that called for the suspension of the electoral process stating that the calls were unjustified.
He said he was satisfied that the electoral register was audited and verified and the electoral body, CENI had met its target to register voters.
He said he had left Madagascar to briefly attend to other national duties in Zambia and said he would be back on the 5th November 2018.
He also welcomed the appointment of former President of Mozambique His Excellency, Joachim Chisano as SADC special envoy to the Madagascar’s elections stating that his mission would work and collaborate closely with the former head of state.
He has however left former Minister of Foreign Affairs & former Minister of Finance Dr. Katele Kalaumba as his alternate to represent him.
Mr Malanji is expected back in Madagascar on 5th November 2018 to see the last leg of observing the presidential election.
President Edgar Lungu appointed Dr. Kalumba as alternate to head the SADC Electoral Observer Mission.
During the hand over witnesses by SADC Deputy Chair of the Organ represented by Hon.Dutiro Patrick MP, from Zimbabwe and Prof. Mpho Molomo, Chair, SADC Electoral Advisory Council(SEAC) and Prof. Gerhard Totemeyer representing Namibia, Hon Malanji stated that he was pleased with the work done so far and was hopeful that Madagscar would hold a free and fair elections.
Mr. Malanji met the interim President Rivo Rakaotovao and President of the Senate, Mananjara Randriambololona, the Senate President.
And Hon. Malanji proceeded to meet the independent -Electoral Commission
Commission électorale nationale indépendante, CENI.