Malawi Electoral Commission to meet Chiefs ahead of voter registration

The Malawi Electoral Commission has planned civic education meetings with traditional leaders and their subjects in all the five districts where registration will start on July 22, 2013 as first phase in preparation for registration for the 2014 Tripartite Elections.

According to a statement from MEC released on Tuesday,   Commissioners and staff will explain to the traditional leaders and their subjects on Tripartite Elections, the importance of registration, eligibility of registrants and registration procedures.

During the meetings, attendants will be given an opportunity to ask questions on issues they do not understand about elections.

MEC Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga said the Commission was geared to build an informed electorate as the nation prepares for the Tripartite Elections in 2014.

Kalonga: MEC meeting chiefs
Kalonga: MEC meeting chiefs

“We are taking a fresh register which means we have to reach out to everyone urging them to register. Registration is the bedrock of a credible election and it is our expectation that everyone will show up when it starts,” he said.

“If people do not register, they cannot vote nor can they compete as candidates in the elections next year. That is why we are putting up all our efforts to ensure that every eligible registrant turns up for registration when it starts.

“As a Commission we have mobilized enough resources and staff to conduct a successful registration but this can be undermined if we the eligible registrants do not turn up,” he explained.

Kalonga also said the Commission had targeted the traditional leaders because they live with the people in the villages and they have influence.

The meetings will be taking place in the morning and afternoon at the headquarters of the Traditional Authorities (T/A) and primary schools.

Registration for the 2014 elections will be done in ten phases and the first phase is covering Nsanje, Chikhwawa, Neno, Mwanza districts and the following wards in Blantyre City; Mbayani, Michiru, South Lunzu, Blantyre City Central and Chilomoni.

Each phase will be taking 14 days including public holidays and weekends. There will be three day transitions in between each phase.

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