APM says IDs not for rigging elections

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President Peter Mutharika has claimed that the national identification program is not part of his party’s plan to rig the 2019 presidential elections.

Mutharika made the remarks in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe as the country marked 53 years of independence.

During the past Parliamentary session lawmakers condemned an agreement between Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and National Registration (NRB) to use the IDs during 2019 elections saying the Mutharika led government plans to use the IDs to rig the 2019 tripartite elections.

Peter Mutharika

Peter Mutharika: Backs the national registration exercise.

However, according to Mutharika, Malawians must see the importance of having a national identity card as a nation hence claims that the IDs will be used to rig elections are unjustifiable.

“When I say let everyone have a National Identity Card because we need a national identification system that makes us well organised society, let no one say IDs are there to rig an election,” Mutharika.

During the past National Assembly meeting, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislators called for the suspension of the national registration exercise saying government plans to register few people in the central region.

MCP legislators said in Parliament that children who are 16 years old, hence will be 18 by May 2018, were being turned away from registration centres in the central region.

The opposition legislators argued that many who are now aged 16 in southern and northern regions will be able to register by the time the registration exercise reaches the two regions, which they described as unfair and tantamount to electoral fraud since the IDs have been linked to voter registration for the 2019 elections.

Lawmaker for Kasungu central Amon Nkhata argued that the use of the national identity cards as one of recommendations for one to vote in the general elections is not good and must not be accepted.

Nkhata gave an example of his area where according to him the national identity registration was not accurate hence raising questions of whether the process is transparent and fair.

“Mr Speaker Sir, my area is among other areas where the exercise is taking place. However, there is strong evidence that DPP may rig the 2019 elections especially if voters will use these national IDs for voting,” he said.

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