As Malawi Electoral Commission is moving around districts across the country to get feedback on ward demarcations, stakeholders are asking for additional polling centers to satisfy the wishes of the electorate.
This was revealed on Monday at Blantyre District Council as chiefs and political party representatives asked for more voting centres, a concern that was corroborated by the District Commissioner for Blantyre, Charles Makanga.
“We really need more centres as people walk very long distances to cast their votes which is a setback as the number of people whose voice is heard is compromised,” observed Makanga.
Commissioner Archbishop Emeritus Dr Bernard Malango said the ward demarcation hearings create opportunities to bring the elections as close to the people as possible.
“We want feedback. As a commission, we’re ready to listen and consider your views. Therefore, the commission will create additional centres only on special cases as determined on a case by case basis,” said Dr. Malango.
In 2010, when the country was preparing to hold Local Government Elections, MEC did consultations on ward re-demarcations in line with the Electoral Commission Amendment Act of 2010.
However, the re-demarcation exercise was not completed in 2010 because MEC was closed by the Late President Bingu wa Mutharika over mismanagement of funds allegations.
The current law says each rural constituency should not have more than two wards while cities are given a maximum number of wards.