By McDonald Thomu
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has announced that 798,351 people registered in the first phase of voter registration, which took place in Dedza, Salima and Kasungu.
Mec had projected to register 1,094,269 voters in the first phase.
Mec Chairperson, Jane Ansah, said this represents 73 percent of the projected number of voters in the phase.
At the National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) in Lilongwe Tuesday, Mec said, out of 476, 876 people it expected to register in Kasungu, 325,301 people were registered.
In Dedza, out of the projected figure of 393, 049, the electoral body managed to register 302,623 people.
In Salima, Mec registered 170,427 people. The electoral body had projected to register 224,344 people.
During the meeting, Ansah said one of the factors likely to affect the projected number of registered voters is that registration is only targeting those who will be 18 by the time registration closes in November this year rather than those who will have reached 18 years by date of polling next year.
She also told electoral stakeholders that there were a number of challenges they experienced in the phase.
“Common problems associated with the kits were power supply to the kits using the original solar panels and this meant that the primary source of power became generators. This meant much higher diesel supply requirements,” Ansah said.
“There were instances where UNDP could not live to their commitments. There were delays in payment of Biometric Registration Kit registration operators’ last installment at the end of phase one. This led to NRB [National Registration Bureau] staff getting disgruntled and some were threatening to down their tools,” she added.
Ansah also announced new nominations fees for candidates.
She said presidential candidates will pay a nomination fee of K2 million. Male parliamentary candidates are expected to cough K500,000 while female candidates are expected to pay K250,000.
For Local Government elections, male candidates will pay a nomination fee of K40,000 while female candidate will pay K20,000.