The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says all is set for the process of reviewing constituency and ward boundaries ahead of the Tripartite Elections in 2019.
According to the Chairperson for MEC, Justice Jane Ansah, the process will start this coming Monday, March 13, 2017 with the first meeting being held in Luchenza.
Ansah said in preparation for the 2019 elections MEC will concentrate on reviewing the boundaries to ensure that there are no overlaps whereby one constituency falls within two councils.
“We are set for this exercise. We have set up three teams that will work on the exercise. By March 27 we will be through with everything. Let me emphasise that we are concentrating on refining boundaries of wards and constituencies and not creating new ones,” she said.
Some of the constituencies that have been falling within two councils include Blantyre City South, Blantyre City South East, Blantyre City West, Lilongwe City North, Lilongwe Kumachenga and Lilongwe Central.
This scenario creates administrative and logistical challenges during elections and also Parliamentarians of such constituencies are forced to belong to two councils, which is not supposed to be the case.
Justice Ansah explained that the Commission had resolved to conduct a comprehensive demarcation exercise in 2020 because they need update data on eligible voters which can only be provided by a National Census to take place in 2018.
The MEC chairperson urged all stakeholders including political parties, civil society organisations, traditional leaders, faith and religious leaders to attend the meetings and give their views.
“This is the only window which the Commission has provided for consultations regarding boundary issues. Besides the public meetings, the Commission will not accept any idea to refine boundaries or introduce a new registration centre,” she said.