Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansahhas disclosed that Blantyre district has registered lowest figures in voter registration in readiness for the May 2019 tripartite elections.
The development follows earlier reports that district has developed strategies to ensure a record high turnout of people during the exercise.
Speaking at a National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) meeting in Blantyre on Friday , Ansah revealed that the district has only registered over 498 thousand eligible voters representing 73 percent of the projected figures.
Ansah said the commission is pleased with the progress of voter registration despite MEC failing to register 100 percent of projection figures in the exercise.
‘’As we are midway through the voter registration we have observed an improvement to the exercise with some districts recording a high turnout and as a Commission we will continue analyzing the results as they come and at the end of the exercise we will come up with decision on the districts which have recorded lowest figures’’ Said Ansah.
Commenting on the development Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Elections Ben Phiri, said political parties should take the blame for failing to woo the masses to go and register enmasse in Blantyre and other districts which have registered low turnout.
He said: ”It will be unfair for people to accuse the Electoral Commission for the low turnout that the voter registration exercise is facing; it is the responsibility of all major stakeholders in the electoral process to step up their efforts in encouraging eligible voters to take part in the exercise.”
Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) Chairperson Steven Duwa said the organization is surprised with the lowest voter registration figures in Blantyre despite the district being covered in the fourth phase of the exercise.
MEC has completed four phases so far and about over 3.7 million people have registered as voters, representing 81 percent of the projected figure of 4.6 million. Chikwawa, which has registered 244 862, is the highest representing 94 percent of the projected figure.
“The Commission has looked at the statistics and they are starting to show a general trend of a uniform pattern for the outcome. Blantyre has lowest percent of 73 registered voters against the 2018 projection followed by Kasungu which registered 74 percent. We also have Ntcheu district at 78 percent against the 2018 projections.
“Chikwawa has the highest at 94 percent and it is the only district that has surpassed 2014 figures.”
Members have since expressed concern that there is an increase in violence and use of foul language ahead of the 2019 elections raising fears that the elections would be characterised by the violence.
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