Compulsory use of National IDs will deter most Malawians from voting next year, Malawi Law Society fears

Published: 15/Avr/2024
Source: Nyasa Times

Malawi Law Society (MLS) says its deeply worried with the recently amended electoral law which recognises exclusive use of the national ID as the only valid proof of voter eligibility for registration as this will deter most Malawians from voting.

Section 4 (12) of the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Act states that a person who is eligible to be registered as a voter in an election shall, as proof of eligibility, present in person to a registration officer, proof of his or her national registration issued by National Registration Bureau (NRB).

In a separate communiqué, MLS noted that while Section 77 of the Constitution gives all persons a right to vote in any general election, any impediment to the actualisation of this right goes against the tenets of liberal democracy.

Co-signed by MLS president Patrick Mpaka and honorary secretary Gabriel Chembezi, the communique said the amendment appears to tie the hands of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to register only those with a valid national identity card.

Part of the communiqué reads: “While this guarantees electoral integrity on one hand, it has the potential to disenfranchise constitutionally qualified voters, on the other hand, due to possible capacity or operational challenges that may emerge at NRB.”

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Themes: Cartes d’identité et passeports, Inscription aux listes électorales
Regions: Malawi
Year: 2024