Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it has registered 6.8 million eligible voters at the end of the phased registration exercise for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections in the country’s 28 districts.
But statistics the electoral body released yesterday reflect a 664 521 drop in the registration figures from the 7.5million registered for the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.
The youth—at a total of 3.7 million comprising 2.1 million females and 1.6 males—make up 54 percent of the total registered voters, according to the MEC report.
Overall, MEC has captured 81 out of every 100 eligible voters it projected to register. In 2014, the registration percentage stood at 91 percent of eligible voters.
The statistics indicate that out of the total 6.8 million eligible voters registered, women are in majority at 3.8 million compared to three million males.
In terms of breakdown by district, the registration figures show that in the Central Region, Kasungu registered 325 301, Salima 170 427, Dedza 302 623, Dowa 325 062, Nkhotakota 178 606, Mchinji 241 490, Ntchisi 129 980, Lilongwe 1 013 414 and Ntcheu 228 579.
In the Southern Region, Blantyre has 498 999, Mwanza 48 325, Chikwawa 258 968, Balaka 155 754 and Neno 55 998 registered voters. Other districts in the region have 279 128 for Thyolo, Phalombe 167 613, Mulanje 281 167, Mangochi 402 163, Zomba 319 294, Nsanje 145 528, Machinga 250 973 and Chiradzulu 145 674.
In the Northern Region, Chitipa has 95 777, Karonga 146 587, Rumphi 96 753, Mzimba 478 435, Likoma 6 946 and Nkhata Bay 106 731 voters.
MEC has, however, said that the statistics are preliminary and subject to change after a clean-up exercise for multiple registrants.
In September, MEC said it was resolving registration hitches for six centres in Thyolo District, the home of incumbent President Peter Mutharika, where codes assigned to the centres could not be entered directly into the database from the field.
The affected centres included Methiwa, Namiyanga, Ntawa, Mpeni, Milole and Sukamayere schools.
During the first phase of the registration exercise, there were also challenges that led to low turnout of registrants, but MEC is on record as having said it will determine whether to extend the period for the benefit of those who did not register.
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and other stakeholders pressed for the re-opening of some of the centres in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima districts.
MEC opened the registration exercise in June this year and it ended on November 9.