Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has revealed that it plans to use the national Identity Cards (IDs) in the 2019 tripartite elections.
MEC chairperson, Dr. Justice Jane Ansah made the remarks in Lilongwe during the launch of 2019 tripartite elections calendar under the theme: ‘Consolidating Malawi’s Democracy through the Ballot.’
Ansar said MEC is considering the National Identity Card to be used in identifying people during registration and polling day, saying her institution will work with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to foster registration of eligible voters.
“The Commission has engaged Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament on the need to amend the electoral law to provide for one identification document, the National ID. This is in order to have a clean voters’ roll,” Justice Ansar said.
She also said the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) will be engaged to enhance civic education to rural masses on the importance of securing the ID, especially among those above 18 years who are eligible voters.
The MEC chairperson assured that her organization will work hand in hand with the National Registration Bureau to make sure that people register in their constituencies.
“Plans are also being put in place to bring the national registration as close as possible to the people so that those who will not have registered by the time MEC conducts voter registration, can access national ID registration within reach,” Ansar said.
She also said MEC was geared to administer a free, reliable, credible and fair elections focusing on participation of marginalized groups such as youth, women and persons with disability.
“Printing of ballot papers and selection of the firm will be done in an open, competitive and transparent manner,” Ansar assured.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Sammuel Tembenu, reaffirmed that government will provide all the resources required for the 2019 tripartite elections, calling on the electoral body to be steadfast in its conduct to build confidence and trust among all stakeholders.
The delegates to the launch included cabinet ministers, members of parliament, government officials, civil society organization leaders, religious leaders and political party representatives among others.
According to MEC calendar of activities, registration of voters will start on 24th May to 30th August, 2018 and Malawians will vote for the president, Member of Parliament and councilor on 21st May 2019.