MEC chair upbeat on voter turnout in by-elections


Chairperson for Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC), Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale says the electoral body is optimistic of having a higher voter turnout in the March 30  by-elections despite some areas registering low turnout in the ongoing voter verification and registration exercise.

Speaking when he inspected progress of voter verification exercise in some registration centers in Chikhwawa East constituency on Monday, Justice Kachale said the electoral body is optimistic that up to 70 percent of voters will turn for the March by elections.

He expressed satisfaction with the verification exercise in registration centers of Mapelera, Nkhathe, Mphimbi, Nangali, Mpama and Nyangu in Chikwawa where it was disclosed that close to 40 percent of voters had already verified their names giving an indication that more voters will turn up before the exercise ends on March 7.

The MEC chairperson therefore called on people in all areas where the upcoming by elections shall be held to register and verify their names to ensure that they do not miss out on the voting day.

He said: “This window provides an opportunity for all prospective voters to make sure that their names are registered at a particular center. It affords them an opportunity for them to ensure that if they were omitted or the names misspelled in any way, that should be rectified within this period so that they should not be turned away on the voting day once these anomalies are found.

“We have so far inspected seven out of eighteen registration centers in Chikwawa east constituency, where it is indicating that were are going to get the right numbers for the coming by elections”.

On his part, Dr Stalin Nzikanda who is acting in capacity of Chikwawa District Commissioner corroborated the MEC chair’s remarks saying the district is likely to have high voter turnout in the upcoming by elections.

Josephy Chamambala who is National Initiative for Civic Education(NICE) District Education Officer said his organization has intensified awareness campaign in the district for people to take part in the upcoming by elections.

MEC will hold by Elections in Chikwawa East, Nsanje North and Nsanje Central Constituencies after the court nullified the parliamentary results for these areas due widespread irregularities.

The by-elections will also be held in Ntchisi North, Zomba Changalume, Lilongwe Msinja South, Karonga North West constituencies as well as in Liviridzi ward in Balaka and Chitakale ward in Mulanje where representatives for these areas passed away.