MEC bemoans absence of monitors at registration centres

Jean Mathanga

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has bemoaned absence of party monitors at registration centres in Chiradzulu, saying this compromises credibility of elections.

This was said during a visit to seven registration centres in the on-going voter registration exercise where only Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) monitors were found.

Jean Mathanga
Mathanga: MEC is not moved.

However, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) managed to deploy monitors in five centres while United Democratic Front (UDF) had one monitor at the toured centres.

Some organizations like Church and Society as well as Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) have deployed mobile monitors, who move from one centre to another.

Currently, DPP, PP, MCP and UDF, are parties that have shown interest to participate in the forthcoming tripartite elections.

Speaking to the media after the visit, MEC Commissioner Jean Mathanga expressed discontent over the lack of party monitors saying monitors are important in an election cycle.

Commissioner Mathanga said it is even worrisome considering that time and again the electoral body has been reminding political parties, on the importance of stationing their monitors at the centres.

“I am very dissatisfied with this development, I am hoping that the affected parties will improve in the remaining 11 days,” she said.

Commenting on registration, the Commissioner who is also Chairperson of Electoral Services at MEC said she was impressed with the figures so far, urging all eligible voters to register in the first days of the process.

“The turn-up is so far encouraging. However, we need to strive to meet our 178,000 projection. It is against this background that I am calling all eligible voters to register in their large numbers, for a credible election,” she said.

Women continue to dominate in the process as statistics show that MEC is registering more women than men.

For instance, in the first two days of the exercise at Chikowa centre, 287 females registered against 152 men.