By: Lovemore Katanda
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has threatened to have voter registration exercise being suspended if violence tangling the process persists.
Addressing members of the media in the evening of Tuesday, May 5,2020 MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said violence erupting in the second phase of the registration is different in nature from that of the first phase of the registration process hence the need by the electoral body to exercise patience.
However, MEC chair said voter registration will be suspended if barbaric acts being perpetrated by some political party followers continue.
â€œWe may not suspend the registration as now. But we may have voter registration exercise being suspended only if this violence continues, â€œshe said.
Recently, in some centers of voter registration process mainly in southern region, other political party roving monitors chased MEC officials on allegation that electoral body is colluding with some stakeholders like National Registration Bureau (NRB) to register under aged children with intention to rig forthcoming fresh presidential polls.
Responding to the allegation, Asah said it is injustice to tell Malawians that MEC is colluding with NRB to register minors in voterâ€™s roll and has since advised people to interrogate any suspected minors going for registration so as to get their true identities and eligibility to vote.
Ansah further disclosed that electoral body will have screening exercise of new registrants in order to know their real details and their eligibility to vote in the forthcoming fresh presidential elections.
Of late, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of elections Ben Phiri also condemned attitude of registering minors and has since urged parents and guardians not to allow their underaged children to get registered.
In the first phase of voter registration exercise unknown people smashed down MEC computers and other materials a situation that prompted the commission to suspend the registration in affected centers.
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