Blantyre, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has expressed concern over candidates and political parties who are allegedly recording voter certificates to identify beneficiaries of their campaign materials.
In a statement issued Wednesday, MEC’s Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika said much as the conduct cannot compromise the integrity of the voters register, it has created unnecessary confusion, tension, discomfort and suspicion among electoral stakeholders, with some fearing that this could be a calculated move to manipulate voters.
MEC is reliably informed that some candidates and political parties are recording voter certificates to identify beneficiaries of their campaign materials.
Such candidates and political parties are inviting registered voters to their premises where the voter certificate’s number is copied and then returned to the owner.
The commission is advising all candidates and their agents who are involved in this malpractice to stop immediately, said Alfandika.
He also stressed that it is an offence to take away someone’s voter certificate with the intention of preventing the owner from participating in the electoral process.
The commission is, therefore, urging all registered voters to reclaim voter certificates not in their possession.
Individuals and institutions in possession of voter certificates should return them to their rightful owners or surrender them to the commission with immediate effect.
Those persons who are having difficulty in reclaiming their voter certificates should inform Malawi Electoral Commission or the nearest Police establishment, he added.
Meanwhile, MEC is reassuring the public that it is committed to ensuring the integrity of the upcoming elections.
All registered voters that have had their voter certificates taken will still be able to vote on 21 May, 2019,said Alfandika.
Source: MANA Online