Pollster, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is appealing to Malawians in diaspora to come and register if they are to vote in next year’s highly contested general election.
MEC commissioner Clifford Baloyi said this in Blantyre on Wednesday as he kicked off the fourth phase of voter registration in Blantyre, Mwanza, Thyolo and Mulanje which started on Thursday.
Baloyi said the present laws do not allow MEC to conduct voting in foreign countries.
“This is why we are appealing to Malawians in diaspora to come back home now and register so that they should be able to vote during the general election in 2019,” he said.
He said MEC has polished up problems experienced during the first phases, saying the south and the north would not face the same teething problems.
Baloyi however asked political parties to take interest in the voter registration exercise, saying they needed to send party monitors at every registration centre.
“The monitors will tell us where we are doing good or where we are going wrong,” said Baloyi.
The 2019 general election is seen as highly contested because of the coming in of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) which has broken the political taboo of parties having bases on tribal or regional lines.
The UTM has massive support from the south hitherto deemed the bedrock of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party as well as the centre seen as the base for the Malawi Congress Party.
The movement currently enjoys unlimited support from the north.