The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has argued that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should not increase the number of constituencies from 193 to 228, saying the increase will cost taxpayers MK16.8 billion in five years.
The commission recently released a report on determination on the number of constituencies for 2025 elections. The electoral body proposed an increase in number of constituencies from 193 to 228.
The DPP, in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson Shadrek Namalomba, said that the increase in number of the constituencies from 193 to 228 is understandable because it was considered due to economic hardships but the party recommends that the number should remain 193.
He added that they believe the economy of Malawi which is classified by the World Bank as a least developing country with GDP of US$12 billion and with per capita of U$625.29 of 2020 cannot sustain 228 constituencies.
“To illustrate the point at the current remuneration of members of parliament, such an increase will cost taxpayers an additional expenditure MK16.8 billion in five years in paying member of parliament for the additional constituencies alone. Such public resources should be put to good use in infrastructure development or industrialization and commercialisation of the Agriculture Sector in line with Malawi vision 2063,” he said.
Namalomba continued to say that the commission should put into account that 50 percent of the national budget is contributed by donors and it is important that the money should be put to good use through existing constituencies.
He noted that the Commission’s decision to increase the number of constituencies was made after complaints raised by voters and chiefs that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is inadequate to service large area of a constituency.
The DPP spokesperson argued that government should therefore increase CDF rather than increasing number of constituencies.