Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has ruled out reopening of voter registration following completion of the exercise which captured 6.8 people, representing 81 percent of the projected figure.
In a statement dated November 16 2018 signed by chief elections officer Sam Alfandika, the electoral body observed that the minimum statutory 14 days registration period for each registration centre was duly observed.
He said there was also sufficient public awareness and mobilisation campaign for the voter registration.
Said Alfandika: “The commission would like to declare the voter registration exercise successful and determine that it will not re-open registration centres.”
The MEC position contrasts calls advanced by the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which earlier pressed the electoral body to re-open registration centres in some first phase districts where the party felt eligible voters were disenfranchised.
But reacting to MEC’s stated position yesterday, MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the party has resolved not to fight on the matter anymore.
He said: “What we are saying is that our concerns were genuine. We still feel we should not be proud with 81 percent.”
Last week, MEC announced that it had registered 6 856 295 voters overall out of whom 3 810 020 are women and a total of 3 735 894 of the total registrants are aged under 35.
In a written response yesterday, United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Ken Ndanga, while legitimising the figures from MEC, acknowledged that a significant number of eligible people were not on the voters’ roll.
Ndanga’s sentiments were echoed by UTM interim spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga who said the party was still optimistic despite some grey areas noted.
Spokespersons for both the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and former governing People’s Party (PP) were not available for comment.
In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, MEC registered 7.4 million voters out of whom 5.2 million cast their votes. n