Vice President Saulos Chilima says voter registration for the 2020 fresh elections should not be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chilima, who is also UTM president, made the remarks in a statement today in Lilongwe.
On Saturday, the ministerial committee on coronavirus said the registration exercise which started on Saturday in Karonga, Salima, Dedza, Ntcheu, Blantyre district, Blantyre city, Chikwawa and Nsanje should be suspended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
However, Chilima argued that there was no need to stop the electoral process saying prevention measures can be taken at registration centres to ensure that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) staff and voters are protected from the coronavirus.
“I am sure MEC has put in place measures such as social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so in my view there is no need to suspend the voter registration exercise,” said
Chilima also faulted the coronavirus committee for announcing the suspension of the voter registration exercise saying the ministers are not the right authority to make the decision.
According to Chilima, MEC is the only body authorized to suspend the registration process.
“The country’s law does not allow the ministers to set a date for the registration process and they cannot suspend process.
“So, what I know is the registration exercise has not been suspended. I urge all people to go and register, do not listen to the ministers’ lies,” said Chilima.
Malawi has recorded eight cases of the coronavirus and one of the patients died on Tuesday.