The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has revealed that over 4.6 million people have registered in the ongoing voter registration exercise as of phase 5.
The MEC had projected to register about 5, 770, 982 voters in the fifth phase to beat the figures the commission registered by the same period in 2013.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe, chairperson of the commission, Jane Ansah, revealed that only 81 percent of the projected figures have so far been met with the youths in majority.
“Of the 4, 655, 941 voters registered, 2, 571, 835 voters are youths aged less than 35 years old thereby representing 55 % of the registrants,” said Ansah.
Ansah further said the preliminary number of registrants is down by a margin of 10 percent this time compared to the 91 percent the commission had managed as of phase 5 for the 2014 elections.
She disclosed that the MEC has deployed its full force to ensure that they meet the 9 million target of voters in the remaining 3 phases.
Echoing his sentiments, National Campaign Director for the Malawi Congress Party Moses Kunkuyu said people are tired because they don’t see any change even if they vote.
“Despite the fact that the system of voter registration has changed, those that aren’t registering despite having the national ID are tired of the way things have been happening in the country,” claimed Kunkuyu.
He said unlike in the last registration exercises when people used to get a voter ID which helped them in getting cheap fertilizer, Malawians have simply lost interest with the coming of the National ID which performs same functions.
Nicholas Dausi who doubles as spokesperson for the ruling DPP and government refused to comment saying they haven’t verified yet with the commission.
“We will wait for official communication from the MEC before jumping into comments since we are hearing this from you now,” said Dausi.
Meanwhile, Chancellor College Political Analyst, Ernest Thindwa has urged political parties to join hands in ensuring that more people should register in the remaining 3 phases and meet the 9 million target of voters.
Phase 6 of the voter registration exercise will start on Wednesday, 19th September in Mangochi, Zomba and Nsanje.