Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said registration exercise have managed to register 4.6 million voters which represents 81 percent of the total projected figures for the five phases.
MEC chairperson Dr Jane Ansah disclosed this during a news conference in Lilongwe when she gave an update on the progress of current voter registration exercise which has covered Balaka, Neno, Thyolo, Phalombe and Mulanje district and Luchenza Municipality in Thyolo.
“Of the total registered voters, 2 534432 are women representing 54 percent and 2 121002 are men representing 46 percent. The total for five phases is 91 percent of those that registered in 2014 which were 5 093 941 voters,” stated Ansah, who is a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court.
The MEC Chairperson added that the total registered voters for the five phases, the number of youths, aged less than 35 years, registered is 2 571 835 representing 55 percent.
“Of the total sum for registered youths, 1 422 756 females representing 55 percent and 1 149 079 are males translating into 45 per cent,” she pointed out
Ansah explained that the Commission has observed that political parties have started identifying their candidates for the May 21, 2019 elections.
She said the process which the Commission has no control on how it should be managed, but urged all parties to ensure that the primary elections are conducted in free and transparent manner and that “the result should reflect the will of the people.”
Said Ansah: “If primary elections are mishandled they can result in voter alienation.”
The poll commission’s chairperson added that “This is whereby people purposely decide to shun electoral activities including voting because of disenchantment. If the members feel that the candidate representing their party was imposed or won in a fraudulent process, chances are there that they can decide not to vote. “The result is that there will be low voter turnout on May 21, 2019,”
MEC Chief Executive Officer, Sam Alufandika said the commission was aware of some sponsored political violence that are taking place in the running up to the election.
He pointed out that political partiesneed to adhere to code of electoral conduct in order to ensuring free and fair elections in 2019.
“We are appealing to all political parties to stick to their manifestos and conduct their business in according to the electoral guidelines,”Alufandika said.
There are three phases remaining to be conducted, including the Northern Region district.
The sixth phase is slated to start on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 and it will run up to October 2, 2018.
This phase will cover the following councilsnamely Mangochi district, Mangochi Town, Zomba District, Zomba City and Nsanje districtFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :