The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it will screen the voters’ register in a bid to remove minors from the voters’ roll.
Speaking at a press briefing in Blantyre today, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said this is in response to concerns that minors have been registered at some registrations centres.
She mentioned claims by Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera that MEC is conniving with the National Registration Bureau to falsify the voter register in a scheme to rig the 2020 elections.
According to Ansah, the commission is weighing the option of using the 2019 voters’ register or take measures to screen the voters’ register that is being created during the current voter registration exercise.
During the screening exercise, MEC will revisit problematic areas and all areas flagged to have been registering minors.
“The commission will invite new registrants to come to flagged to verify their eligibility in terms of age. If the registrants do not come, the commission will treat them as ineligible and will strike them of the voters’ roll,” said Ansah.
She added that monitors and officials of all political parties will be allowed to attend the screening exercise.
Ansah said the commission is committed to ensure that all ineligible voters do not get their way.
“The commission is aware of the impact of the quality of the voter register in holding free, fair and credible elections,” said Ansah.
On violence during the ongoing voter registration exercise, Ansah said the MEC has received reports of violence ranging from assault of registration officers and monitors; vandalism of registration equipment; disruption of registration at registration centres and intimidation.
She condemned the acts of violence and demanded those behind the criminal acts to stop. She also urged the police to investigate and arrest perpetrators.
“The commission does not want to manage an election characterized with violence, intimidation and blood shedding,” said Ansah.
MEC will hold fresh presidential election on July 2. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the commission will receive nomination papers from candidates.