On May 20 this year, eligible Malawians and resident foreign nationals will be busy casting their votes in the first ever tripartite elections. This is a chance that comes after every five years when democratically empowered citizenry and foreign residents exercise their right to choose leaders of their choice to take up the mantle.
Good news from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is that the electoral governing body has registered 7, 537,584 voters. This number is against a projected number of 8,009,734 people. This means that 94.10 of eligible constituents have registered to vote.
Another good thing is that nomination fees for female candidates in parliamentary and local government categories are considerably lower and this will definitely enhance the participation of females who are somehow economically less empowered due to some other reasons as compared to men. Below is a list of how the nomination fees are;
· Candidates for Presidential Elections:
· Candidates for Parliamentary Elections:
K200,000.00 for male candidates
K150,000.00 for female candidates
· Candidates for Local Government Elections:
K20,000.00 for male candidates
K15,000.00 for female candidates
The youth and women have been underrepresented in various political and influential positions in Malawi and in fact, the trend is quite common in most sub-Saharan African countries. Thus, the underrepresentation has had a number of devastating effects on the youth and women. By extension, this has also led to low productivity in the countries because larger sections of capable people in the population are left out in the development efforts.
I, therefore, would like to encourage all eligible women and young people who would want to vie for a position in the forth coming tripartite elections in Malawi to do so without further ado. As I will be publishing this blog, we will have exactly 120 days before the polls and submission of nomination papers will be from 10th to 14th February, 2014.