Malawians in diaspora have asked government to introduce postal voting in the 2014 General Elections to give all Malawians a right to exercise their democratic right to vote.
Two major opposition political parties, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), while backing the call, have urged for an enabling environment for the system to work.
Chairperson of Malawians in the UK (MAUK) Clement Chunga said at the weekend he discussed with Vice-President Khumbo Kachali several issues, including postal voting and dual citizenship and would meet President Joyce Banda as a follow-up to a meeting the President had with Malawians in diaspora in the UK and US in June.
â€œJust like other Malawians, we also want to be able to express ourselves on which party we want to vote into government… We want to have a part to play in deciding in the next election what government is going to be in place,â€ Chunga said.
He said although it is expensive, it is necessary to ensure that they take part in the countryâ€™s democratic processes.
Chunga also said government should move to change laws to allow Malawians to have dual citizenship, arguing that those working abroad and using the Malawian passport are experiencing challenges when travelling to other countries.
MCP president and leader of opposition in Parliament John Tembo said in an interview on Saturday he would have no problems with postal voting as long as there was good system in place.
Said Tembo: â€œCountries which have a good [electoral] system; it works well, why not [in Malawi]?â€
DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi said his party supports postal voting as long as there are sound logistical arrangements.
However, the Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn, dismissed the suggestion.
â€œMalawi has not yet reached that stage where we can start talking of postal voting in terms of logistics, expenses, and security of the ballots. We need to perfect the current voting system first,â€ Mesn chairperson Aloisious Nthenda said.