For the first time in the history of democracy in Malawi, the country will held presidential candidate debates during the run up to the 2014 Tripartite Elections, which were organised by the Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, and duly approved by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
The list of organizations that were in the task force organising the debates included the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE).
The first round was held on 22nd April, followed by the second on 29 April, both at the Bingu International Conference Center in the capital city, Lilongwe. The third round was held in Blantytre, on 6 May.
The debates gave voters a chance to compare the 11 candidates that participated in the debates side by side as they presented their points on how they would develop Malawi if they won. It also gave the candidates the opportunity to sell their manifestos in a bid to convince the audience to vote for them.
Out of the total 12 candidates that were running for presidency, only Joyce Banda, the former president, was absent from all the three debates.
The debates were broadcast live by Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC) television and radio. There were also other private media houses such as Times Television and Zodiak Broadcasting Station that covered the debates.