By Serah Makodetsa
Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera yesterday met Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Justice Ansah in attempts to push for the extension of the first phase of the voter registration exercise.
The first phase ended this week and the second phase rolls out on July 13, 2018 as the country prepares for the May 21 tripartite elections next year.
But sources close to the meeting told Daily Times that the meeting did not go Chakwera’s way as Mec refused the extension proposal for fear of affecting the whole electoral calendar.
Chakwera, who is also President of the country’s oldest political party, Malawi Congress Party, refused to disclose the contents of the meeting saying “it was not for the public.”
However, without disclosing much Ansah, told journalists after the meeting that the discussion centered around the first phase of the voter registration exercise which started in some parts of the Central Region.
“I have had a meeting and it was a good meeting. Basically it was about the first phase of registration which you already know about. As Mec chair I don’t make decisions by myself. Resolutions and decisions of the commission are made by the commission by consensus,” she said.
Commenting on the concerns raised by MCP and other stakeholders on low voter registration turnout, Ansah said they will have National elections consultative forum (Necof) next week which will tackle all the concerns raised.
Earlier on in a telephone interview MCP publicity, Maurice Munthali, threatened to drag the commission to court claiming what Mec is doing is raising suspicions of rigging.
“The commission is not being helpful enough. The elections are not for Mec but for the people and all stakeholders must play their role and take part… all we are saying is that let us see how we can work things out. Together we have to sit down and find solutions to the concerns,” he said.
Ansah described Munthali’s remarks as nonsense.
“He is speaking nonsense…when you begin to make accusations, the voters take them seriously, Mec will put into positions who have not won. So that’s nonsense,” she said.