Despite the country registering confirmed cases of coronavirus, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), says its electoral calendar has not changed, including registration of voters which is expected to start on Saturday, April 4.
On Thursday, President Peter Mutharika announced that the country has registered three cases of COVID-19.
MEC spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said the electoral body has put in place precautionary measures to ensure that both its staff and the registrants are secured.
Mwafulirwa said: “As of now electoral calendar has not changed as earlier announced by MEC.
“To ensure that everyone is protected from coronavirus, each and every polling station will have a bucket of water where everyone will be asked to wash hands and our staff have been given protective masks, gloves and hand sanitizers.”
He further said they will enforce public gathering regulation imposed by the Ministry of Health which restricts every gathering to less than 100 people.
Meanwhile, Joint Civil Society Platform on Good Governance (JCSPGG), through a press statement issued on April 2, has requested MEC to seriously consider suspending the voter registration process in the advent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country until the spread is contained.
Reads part of the statement: “While the commission has put in place measures of preventing the spread of coronavirus, the measures are not adequate to protect the staff and people coming for registration.”
The first phase of voter registration exercise which will run from April 4 to 17, will be conducted in Chitipa, Karonga, Salima, Dedza, Ntcheu, Blantyre, Chikhwawa and Nsanje.