Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday stormed the offices of Malawi’s electoral commission to demand it to take the necessary steps to ensure the next year’s election will be free and flawless starting with registration of voters.
Chakwera, who is a presidential torch bearer of MCP, accuses the commission of being biased towards the ruling Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP).
On Thursday afternoon, Chakwera was rocked in a meeting with MEC chairperson Jane Ansah, a High Court judge for about two hours..
The visit comes amid concerns of low turn out during the first phase of voter registration in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima.
The party and other electoral stakeholder have asked the electoral body to consider reopening the centres of the first phase so that more people should have a chance to register.
Speaking to journalists after what she described as a “good meeting”, Ansah said the discussion centered around the first phase of the voter registration exercise.
“I don’t make decisions by myself. Resolutions and decisions of the commission are made by the commission by consensus,” she said.
Commenting on the concerns raised by MCP and other stakeholders on low voter registration turnout, Ansah said they will have National elections consultative forum (Necof) next week which will tackle all the concerns raised.
Ansah told the local media that they cannot extend time for registration saying doing so would affect the electoral calendar.
However, she indicated such considerations can only be made only if the low turn out was influenced by faulty equipment or anything that was beyond Mec at that particular registration centre.
Ansah further said the Commission decided to start with some districts in the central region because it was where mass registration for national identity started.
She said “this is an indication that many people had already collected their IDs, which in this case are primary eligible documents for voter registration”.