Third phase of voter registration ends: MEC adjusts calendar

The third phase of voter registration exercise closed Saturday with the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) expressing satisfaction with the progress made.

The phase, which started on August 25, covered all the constituencies in Mulanje, Luchenza Municipality, Phalombe South, Phalombe East and Phalombe North East constituencies and all constituencies in Thyolo District except Thyolo North which was covered in second phase.

MEC said all persons who would not have registered by close of business on Saturday would be assisted on Sunday.

“This applies only to those who will present themselves for registration before 4pm on Saturday, September 7, 2013,” said MEC Spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa.

One of the presidential hopefuls, Peter Mutharika registering in voters roll
One of the presidential hopefuls, Peter Mutharika registering in voters roll

He said the third phase had been a success as the commission managed to register thousands of people.

“It’s been quite impressive. We have had good turnout of people going to the centers to register. The turnout was sustained throughout the period,” he said.

Mwafulirwa, however, said just like during first and second phases the commission faced some challenges “but were not of that magnitude that could have warranted an extension.”

The commission further said the fourth phase will start next Wednesday, September 11, 2013 and run up toSeptember 21, 2013.

The phase will cover Phalombe North and Phalombe Central constituencies, all constituencies in Zomba City, all constituencies in Zomba District, all constituencies in Machinga District and all constituencies in Balaka District.

Meanwhile, the electoral body says it has slightly adjusted the schedule to the effect that Balaka District which was initially planned to be split between phases 4 and 5 will be covered entirely in phase.

The spokesperson said this was because the commission was anticipating to have new equipment.

In the first two phases of exercise, 1 306 794 voters registered but Mwafulirwa said they were yet to come up with the statistics for the third phase.

The second phase covered all constituencies in Blantyre City (that were not covered during first phase), all constituencies in Blantyre Rural and Chiradzulu districts and Thyolo North

And first phase covered two constituencies in Blantyre (Blantyre Kabula and Blantyre City West) and whole districts of Neno, Mwanza, Chikhwawa and Nsanje.

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