The 2019 voting demographic might reflect a growing interest by the youth to take over the affairs of the country, some political analysts have said.
An update of the registration exercise underway released yesterday shows more youths aged below 35 and women have registered as voters at 56.1 percent and 53 percent, respectively, of the total registered voters. The statistics also show that 47 percent of the eligible voters are men.
The statistics for phases one, two and three, released by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in Blantyre indicate that a total of 2 686 903 eligible voters have so far registered as voters for the 2019 elections representing 81 percent of the projected 3 304 492 voters for these three phases.
Apart from a seven percent drop from those who registered for the 2014 elections, the three exercises have also registered a 19 percent drop from what MEC projected as voters in the 2019 elections.
“The total for three phases is also 93 percent of those that registered in 2014 which were 2 877 409 voters,” reads the statement.
A political analyst Rafik Hajat said the large numbers of youth and women registering to vote was a sign that the youth are prepared to play a more active role in politics.
Hajat said the country’s demographics are changing and that the youth now are in large numbers at 60 percent and that the voting at the ballot box will reflect that change.
“The [United Transformation Movement led by Saulos] Chilima is a demonstration of the frustration with the system as it stands now,” he said.
He, however, observed that the low in registration figures also signify that people are tired of going to elections as their votes are not being translated to representation.
“There is still suspicion that the elections are already rigged,” he said.
Another political commentator Humphrey Mvula said in all the parties there has been a growing interest for the youth to take over leadership.
Another political commentator Emily Mkamanga said the youth are interested in power although the set-up is that most of the country’s political parties would not allow that.
“They will be in a majority in Parliament but they might not take the leadership of the country,” she said.
She aid political parties have not given women and the youth an opportunity to take part in politics.
But another political analyst Andrew Mpesi said people should not read too much into the high turn up of the youth and women during the registration exercise as it only demonstrates the country’s demographics.