Story by Madalitso Phiri, MEC Stringer, Chitipa
There are fears that party Monitors that will be allocated in various polling centers during this year’s 21st May, 2019 general elections will not be able to exercise their right to vote as they may be assigned to centers where they did not register with.
Presenting the matter during the vetting exercise held on 5th March, 2018, aspiring Member of Parliament for Chitipa Central Constituency under Malawi Congress Party ticket, Dryvat Y.P Simwanza said the issue of submitting party Monitors came in later after party Members had already registered in various centers of their choice.
“We have Monitors which have been identified later now. Now we have Monitors whom we trust and can be taken from centers where they registered to Monitor at another center, now MEC says that no opportunity for Monitors to vote at a center where they got registered, now this is concern to us. We will lose votes.”
“MEC should address this issue before 21st May”
However, in a separate interview with Malawi Electoral Commission Commissioner Linda Kunje to hear on MEC’s side of the story said Political parties did not comply with the laws.
“it is unfortunate that our politicians have opted to take Monitors to areas where they did not registered. It is too late now, nothing can even change. We made it clear with electoral cycle that those who wanted to change or transfer their names should do so and that period passed. We cannot open registration period again.” Kunje confirmed.
Kunje has however further caution aspirants who are doing underground campaign saying once caught they will face the law as the official campaign period has not yet opened. The campaign period is expected to officially opened on 19th March, 2019.