Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi West Jacqueline Kouwenhoven Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over the decision that constituency re-demarcation exercise will not be done this time around.
Her remarks follow a revelation by Commissioner Rev Clifford Baloyi at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting held last week in the district.
Rev Baloyi had told stakeholders the demarcation exercise cannot be done now because presently, the country’s law demands that the population census by the National Statistics Office (NSO) should first be done for re-demarcation exercise to be effected.
The law maker said it was meaningless for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to only address issues of polling stations and the voting process, ignoring the core subject of re-demarcation which she said is crucial in resolving outstanding issues for the fairness of 2019 Polls.
Kouwenhoven commended the consultative meeting for isolating issues of constituency and ward boundaries which she said are crucial in ensuring that the electorate’s aspirations are attained.
“Why should we continue with this exercise while we can do these things together? By ignoring the issue of constituency and ward re-demarcation, we have not addressed our concerns in Rumphi.
“You need to know [that] some constituencies and wards are extremely large for the incumbent MP or councillor to manage,” she said.
The Rumphi-West Parliamentarian said if constituencies and wards are well demarcated, resources are distributed fairly to the electorate and that it brings notable social economic developments to the communities.
Kouwenhoven said to large constituencies like Rumphi West, the impact of initiatives like Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is insignificant.
She expressed worry that re-demarcation exercise might take longer than anticipated because the National Statistics Office (NSO) may take time to release results of the Population and Housing Census.
The next Malawi Population and Housing Census will be conducted in 2018, a year before the tripartite polls.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA