On Tuesday, 21st May 2019, Malawians will go to polls to vote for President, Members of Parliament and Ward Councillors in what is called Tripartite Elections.

As part of preparations for the 2019 Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the only mandated Electoral Management Body will begin voter registration on May 24, 2018. This is an important step in the electoral process because without registering people will not be allowed to vote for candidates of their choice. CCJP is therefore, calling upon every eligible citizen to go and register. Unlike in the previous elections, to register for May 2019 elections, one is expected to produce a National Identity Card which is a proof of citizenship. MEC indicated that voters roll in 2014 Tripartite Elections had many challenges.

For example, some potential voters had transposed photographs, misspelt names, while some could not be found at all at the centre they had registered. In some cases, there were multiple registrations, with foreigners and the under-age registering due to lack of proper identification system. This time around, MEC will use Citizen Identification or National Identification Card to register voters.

CCJP is aware that not all eligible Malawians registered and have a National ID. Therefore, we are appealing to all Malawians to take advantage of the continuous registration being conducted by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) located at the District Commissioner’s office in every district. We also appeal for safe custody of the ID with no intention of selling it to anybody. Thereafter, every Malawian will be allowed to register beginning 26th June 2018 for May 2019 Tripartite Elections.

CCJP, the governance arm of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) calls upon all Catholic faithful and Malawians of good will to set aside time, go and register for the national ID Card especially those who still do not have them in preparation for the May 2019 Tripartite Elections. Remember that if you chose not to vote then you are indirectly voting for the candidate who does not deserve to win. It is your right to go and vote for a candidate of your choice.

Issued on: 7th May, 2018

Boniface Chibwana