Analyst warns voter apathy will continue hitting by-elections


A Chancellor College based political analyst has warned that voter apathy will continue to mar by-elections as a lot of electorates focus much on presidential elections.

The remarks follow low turnout of voters during the just ended March 30 parliamentary and local government by-elections.

In an interview, the analyst Ernest Thindwa said any elections held without presidential elections will continue attracting low turnout of voters.

“Voter apathy during parliamentary and local government by-elections is a worldwide problem as more electorates focus much on the bigger prize (the presidency).

“Even as a country if we invest more in campaigning and voter civic education we won’t register a bigger change in terms of a higher turnout of voters during by-elections,” added Thindwa.

Voter apathy marred the March 30 by-elections especially in Balaka Liviridzi Ward where only 6,220 people cast their votes out of the initial 24,160 registered voters.

Speaking when declaring official results of the March 30 by-elections, Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC Chairperson Justice Kachale called for a thorough study involving voters to establish interventions that can help to address voter apathy.

Commenting on the performance of the country’s major political parties during the just March 30 by-elections, Thindwa hailed the Malawi Congress Party-MCP for fixing the leadership wrangle that rocked the party before the 2019 tripartite elections.

“We can confidently say MCP is now a party on the rise as it now gaining more ground in their opponents stronghold”.

Thindwa added: “Opposition parties like DPP, UDF and Alliance for Democracy AFORD should now start concentrating on fixing their image and leadership wrangles for them to compete with MCP”.

MCP scooped four seats out of the contested seven parliamentary seats.