By Chrissie Mainjeni- Mec Stringer
CHIRADZULU-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should have piloted biometric voter registration before implementing it to avoid low turn out.
MCP’s leadership said this amid concerns of low turn out during the first phase of voter registration in Kasungu, Dedza and Salima.
Led by the party’s District Chairman for Chiradzulu, Dyson Likangala, the party said it is obvious that usually new things have challenges, hence the need to pilot them before rolling them out full throttle.
“We all know that the current system is totally new such that people do not understand it easily. We would have loved if the system was first piloted in all the country’s regions before the official registration, in order to identify it’s strength and weaknesses,” he said.
Likangala added that as a party they are wondering as to why Mec started with central region when the process is new altogether.
On this note, he asked Mec to consider reopening the centres of the first phase so that more people should have a chance to register.
Recently, Chairperson for Mec Jane Ansah told the local media that they cannot extend time for registration saying doing so would affect the electoral calendar.
However, she indicated such considerations can only be made only if the low turn out was influenced by faulty equipment or anything that was beyond Mec at that particular registration centre.
Ansah further said the Commission decided to start with some districts in the central region because it was where mass registration for national identity started.
She said “this is an indication that many people had already collected their IDs, which in this case are primary eligible documents for voter registration”.
Meanwhile, the party in the district is in a sensitization drive to woo people to register in the 7th phase of voter registration which will run from 8 to 21 October 2018.