Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD), a platform of all political parties in the country say they have no powers to force the parties provide monitors in the ongoing voter registration exercise.
Kandi Padambo, board member of CMD said this after Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chair Jane Ansah recently expressed concern that political parties were shunning the voter registration exercise monitoring, saying this can have a negative impact on the electoral process ahead of the 2019 polls.
But Padambo, the secretary general of the United Democratic Front (UDF), an alliance partner in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government, said each and every party in the CMD grouping makes own decisions on electoral matters.
“We don’t speak with one voice when it comes to such issues. I can only speak for the UDF. Each party can decide whether to send monitors or not, it is entirely up to them,” he said.
Ansah had said that only the DPP and MCP were providing monitors for the voter registration exercise.
Padambo said the UDF failed to provide monitors for the first four phases of the voter registration exercise because the party was busy organizing the elective conference which was held last month.
“We had to focus on one thing and our focus was on the elective conference, which was a success. We have now started dispatching our monitors to registration centres and we have already informed the Malawi Electoral Commission,” he said.
He said the presence of party monitors in registration centres was not very important compared to massive civic education to compel people to go and register and vote in the elections.
Padambo said that his party was now involved in massive civic education to its members to go and register and then vote in the 2019 elections.
United Transformation Movemenrt (UTM) officials say the movement is currently busy finalizing its registration process as a political party.