03:15 pm - Tuesday 18 September 2018

Voting figures down to 7.3million from 7.5million

By Amalawi - Wed Apr 23, 7:26 pm

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Malawi: Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Justice Maxon Mbendera has disclosed that 7.3 million people are expected to vote on May 20 in the country’s first ever tripartite elections. This is a revised figure from  7.5 million announced immediately after the registration exercise.

Justice Mbendera made the disclosure on Wednesday at Sun ‘n’ Sand Hotel in Mangochi during a consolidation of democratic governance and the electoral process in Malawi conference organized by the Malawi Council of Churches.

Mbendera, who was the guest of honour at the meeting, said the figures have changed from 7.5 to 7.3 million due to Mulanje district whose figures were jumbled up during the registration exercise, noting that this has been discovered and rectified during the current voter verification exercise.

“What happened is that during the registration exercise Mulanje district messed up the figures as there were some additions to the figures that were produced and this has come to the fore during the ongoing verification exercise.

“We now have exact figures of people who registered although investigations are still going on to find out what exactly happened,” Mbendera said.

Mbendera also said the electoral body has cleared up all the problems that were there during the first phase of the verification exercise leading to its suspension, pointing out that the second phase of the exercise is progressing on smoothly.

He further disclosed that printing of ballot papers is underway in South Africa with the support from the United Nations Development Fund. He said the printing is expected to be completed by Friday (April 25) this week and that the ballot papers will be airlifted into the country on May 11.

voter numbers revised

Mbendera, therefore, urged religious leaders to take a leading role in sensitizing people in their respective churches on the importance of both verifying their names in the voters roll and voting.

In an interview, Chairperson of Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), Rev. Alex Maulana said MCC was satisfied with what MEC is doing in ensuring that the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner to ensure credibility.

Maulana said the aim of the conference was to bring together diverse information on elections to enable people choose the right person to rule Malawi for the next five years.

“What many people don’t have is adequate information on the forthcoming elections and politicians are taking advantage of that by misleading the electorate with information that is not correct,” Maulana said.

 

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