Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said Monday that the first five phase of the registration exercise have managed to register 4,655,941 voters.
MEC Chairperson,Dr. Jane Ansah disclosed this during a press briefing in Lilongwe when she briefed them on the progress of current voter registration exercise
She said the commission has attained 81 percent of the projected 5,770,982 voters for these five phases.
“Of the total registered voters, 2,534,432 are women representing 54 percent and 2,121,002 are men representing 46 percent. The total for five phases is 91 percent of those that registered in 2014 which were 5,093,941 voters,” Ansah stated.
The MEC Chairperson added that the total registered voters for the five phases, the number of youths, aged less than 35 years, registered is 2,571,835 representing 55 percent.
“Of the total sum for registered youths, 1,422,756 females representing 55 percent and 1,149,079 are males translating into 45 per cent,” she pointed out
Ansah explained that the Commission has observed that political parties have started identifying their candidates for the May 21, 2019 elections.
She said the process which the Commission has no control on how it should be managed, that notwithstanding, we are obliged to make a statement.
“The Commission is urging all parties to ensure that the primary elections are conducted in free and transparent manner and that the result should reflect the will of the people. If primary elections are mishandled they can result in voter alienation,” Ansah said
The Chairperson added that “This is whereby people purposely decide to shun electoral activities including voting because of disenchantment. If the members feel that the candidate representing their party was imposed or won in a fraudulent process, chances are there that they can decide not to vote. The result is that there will be low voter turnout on May 21, 2019,”
MEC Chief Executive Officer, Sam Alufandika said the commission was aware of some sponsored political violence that are taking place in the running up to the election.
He pointed out that political parties need to adhere to code of electoral conduct in order to ensuring free and fair elections in 2019.
“We are appealing to all political parties to stick to their manifestos and conduct their business in according to the electoral guidelines,”Alufandika said.
The sixth phase is slated to start on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 and it will run up to October 2, 2018.
This phase will cover the following councils namely Mangochi district, Mangochi Town, Zomba District, Zomba City and Nsanje district.