§ 33. Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress towards the establishment of a multi-party democracy in Malawi.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Good progress has been made and the United Kingdom is giving substantial assistance to the transition process. Multi-party elections are to be held on 17 May and voter registration began on 21 February. Political exiles have been allowed to return, and opposition parties legalised. The National Consultative Council is overseeing the transition to multi-party democracy, including the drafting of a new constitution and bill of rights.
§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has recently made to, or received from, opposition parties in Malawi about the creation of a multi-party democracy in Malawi;
(2) what representations he has recently made to, or received from, the Government of Malawi about the creation of a multi-party democracy in Malawi;
(3) what representations he has received from, or made to, individuals, organisations or political parties in other African countries about the creation of a multi-party democracy in Malawi.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Since the referendum in Malawi last June, we have maintained a regular dialogue with all 753W the parties, including the ruling Malawi Congress party, which will be contesting the multi-party elections on 17 May. Most recently my right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Chalker of Wallasey met members of all parties during her visit from 27 to 29 January.
We have responded to requests for help by allocating £270,000 towards the United Nations' electoral assistance project, including the provision of constitutional and boundaries experts. We have had no recent representations from other African countries over Malawi.