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Mec makes progress on constituency boundaries

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By Thembeka Khumalo:

The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has said it has made progress in ensuring that the process of altering constituency and ward boundaries goes according to plan.

The body’s director of legal affairs David Banda said they have, among other things, been ensuring that the review process considers such factors as population density of a given area and ease of communication.

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The last comprehensive constituency review happened in 1998 even though the Republican Constitution, under Section 76(5b), mandates the electoral body to be conducting reviews and making the necessary alterations every five years.

“Each constituency has been given some wards they are mandated to have. Mec is also required, by law, to decide the number of constituencies a council can have according to the population, geographical features and existing administrative areas and ease of communication and the law in Section 8(1c) of the Electoral Commission Act stipulates the number of wards a Local Government can have,” Banda said.

Mec Commissioner Francis Kasaila said that the review was a long awaited function that had been neglected for years.

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“The exercise is sensitive as the product is political, the result may increase or decrease number of constituencies, which will either positively increase some political parties’ strongholds or decrease some political parties strongholds. But it is important to work under the law without being partisan.” Kasaila said.

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