Malawi Electoral Commission Impressed With Voter Registration
When the voter registration exercise for the May 21st 2019 tripartite elections entered phase five, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says the process will continue going on very smoothly, a development which is also motivating the electoral body.
Speaking during the Press Briefing in Blantyre Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah Expressed optimism that phases are going on smoothly including the just ended phase four of voter registration covering three districts in the South namely Blantyre, Mwanza and Chikhwawa and one central region district of Ntcheu.
She further asked people to register in large numbers in order to take part as the phases continue in many other districts.
MEC Chairperson said the exercises are running without facing the challenges they encountered in previous phases.
“It has been amazing in the previous phases, we can’t deny as we registered some challenges and the most serious one was the issue to do with solar panels but they were replaced by the powerful solar panels” she said.
She however expressed concern over the low turnout of voters and she was quick to say they cannot promise people that the period will be extended to allow those who failed to register during the period of their district.
“The figures that are presented in the previous phases reflect a good registration that people have really participated although they are not uniform in all the districts.” “As we have been saying that look at the figures at the end of all phases that we have carried out, we can say it has dropped but we have to understand the fact that vote participation is not compulsory so as registration,” She concluded.
Phase 5 of voter registration is currently running from 2nd – 15th September 2018 in Balaka; Neno; Thyolo; Luchenza Municipal; Phalombe and Mulanje District.
Phase 6 will run from 19th September to 2nd October in Mangochi Zomba and Nsanje Districts. Phase 7 will run from 8th October to 21st October in Chitipa Karonga, Rumphi, Machinga and Chiradzulu Districts, Phase 8 will run from 27th October to 9th November 2018 in Nkhata Bay Likoma, Mzuzu and Mzimba Districts.
Currently, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has adopted the use of biometric registration supported by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) with data captured in the ongoing citizen registration.