MALAWI: REGISTRATION/MBC/7/8/18 SABANews 1
LILONGWE – The MALAWI Electoral Commission has commended political parties for their positive attitude towards the ongoing voter registration exercise in the SADC country.
Commission Public Relations Officer SANGWANI MWAFULIRWA says all the involved groups are sensitizing citizens and encouraging them to register for the forthcoming ballots.
MBC News says the authorities have now launched the THIRD Phase of the exercise, starting from 30 JULY and until 12 AUGUST, covering the capital, LILONGWE and LILONGWE Rural.
It says the FIRST and SECOND Phases faced some challenges from malfunctioning of voter registration equipment, as well as poor turn out; but things began to improve towards the THIRD leg.
The Commission had planned to register some ONE-MILLION-48-THOUSAND-AND-80 people in Phase TWO but managed 83 percent of the total.
Public Relations Officer MWAFULIRWA says the exercise managed to register the 875-THOUSAND-138 persons in DOWA, NKHOTAKOTA, MCHINJI and NTCHISI towns.
He has appealed to MALAWIANS to come out in their numbers now that the registration process has picked momentum.
The Electoral official says they have adopted a new computerized system that ensures eligible voters do not spend hours on queues as it used to be in previous elections.
Records show MALAWI holds elections to choose a Head of State or the President, and 193 members of the National Assembly for FIVE years in single-seat constituencies.
The Presidential candidate shares ONE ballot paper with the Vice Presidential aspirant, and they both serve for FIVE years just like the legislators.
Current MALAWIAN media reports say the 2019 ballots aim to select councillors, members of Parliament, and a President, but they leave out the selection of a Vice President.
President PETER MUTHARIKA will represent his ruling DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY, despite mounting allegations of corruption and calls for him to resign.
The last week of this APRIL saw thousands of citizens joining peaceful protests organised in SIX municipalities by civil action groups, calling for him to resign.
President MUTHARIKA faces former President JOYCE BANDA, leader of the opposition PEOPLE’S PARTY who returned home in APRIL after FOUR years of self-imposed exile.
Her rival MUTHARIKA (78) is a politician, educator, and lawyer, who has been President since 31 MAY 2014, after having worked worldwide in the field of international justice.
Nevertheless, both politicians will have to contend with the main opposition MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY, the FIRST group to rule the SADC country after independence under the late former dictator HASTINGS KAMUZU BANDA./Sabanews/cam