MEC extends voter registration window

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has announced that it has revised phases for voter registration for 2019 Tripartite Elections from six to eight.

According to a statement released by MEC, signed by Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika said the phases will run from June 26 to November 9, 2018.

Alfandika said the decision was reached at after deliberating other concerns raised by electoral stakeholders.

“During demonstration of Biometric Voter Registration, stakeholders raised a concern regarding the placement of National Registration Bureau (NRB) staff in strategic centers. Following the concerns, the Commission has decided to place NRB staff in all voter registration centers,”reads part of the statement.

Phase one, which will be conducted in Kasungu district, Kasungu Municipality, Salima and Dedza will begin from 26 June and will run until July 9, 2018.

Phase two will run from 13 to 26 July 2018 and will be done in Nkhotakota, Ntchisi, Dowa and Mchinji.

Phase three of the voter registration will be conducted from July 30- August 12, 2018 and will cover Lilongwe district and city councils.

The fourth phase of the exercise will begin from August 16 – 29, 2018 in Ntcheu, Blantyre district, Blantyre city, Mwanza and Chikhwawa district councils.

From September 2 – 15, 2018 eligible voters from Balaka, Neno, Thyolo, Luchenza Municipal, Phalombe and Mulanje will be registered in phase five.

Phase six will be done from September 19 – October 2, 2018 in Mangochi district, Mangochi Town, Zomba district, Zomba city and Nsanje district councils.

The councils to be covered in Phase 7 are Chitipa Karonga, Rumphi, Machinga and Chiradzulu and will run from October 8 – 21, 2018.

The last phase will be conducted from October 27 – November 9, 2018 in NKhata Bay, Likoma, Mzuzu City and Mzimba district councils.

The council for non-governmental organizations expressed concern that the former arrangement which was supposed to end on October 4, 2018 could leave behind many youths who are expected to turn 18 years of age by May 2019.

The Commission says it will register all those who are above 18 or will attain voting age by November 9, 2018, which implies that those that were born on or before November 9, 2000 only will be registered.

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