NICE Foresees Voter Apathy in By-Elections
The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) has observed that the forthcoming local government by-elections in Shire Ward, Balaka Central East Constituency will be marred by voter apathy.
NICE has attributed this to resistance of voters to verify their names arguing elected leaders have for so long denied them development.
Balaka NICE Civic Education Officer, Henry Zekeria, claims that so far, out of the potential 25 thousand voters in the area, only 6,415 have registered and verified their names for the election.
Center for Democracy and Elections Team Leader, Aloisious Nthenda, is proposing for Malawi to review electoral laws governing by-elections to avoid wasting tax payers money in an election where a few people participate.
"The problem of serious voter apathy has been experienced in Malawi mainly during by elections of local government. Looking at the expenses of MEC this needs to be looked into seriously and as a country we cannot continue on this path," said Nthenda.
"This raises questions about legitimacy of the elected officials if very few participate in the elections and as part of the electoral reforms CEDE is advocating for a comprehensive study of this problem," he added.
"CEDE is proposing to MEC to have a quarterly for by elections which will address both the representative aspect and cost implications to MEC so that we can reduce wastage and achieve representation," said Nthenda.
The local government by-elections are scheduled on 23 August, 2022 following the death of Councilor Patrick Botoman.