No official broadcaster for May elections

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The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says there will be no official broadcaster for the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

In the 2009 and 2014 elections, MEC gave Zodiak Broadcasting Station rights to broadcast official results.

Ansah at the meeting

Speaking during a National Elections Consultative Forum (NECOF) in Lilongwe on Friday, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said there is no reason for the electoral body to approve an official broadcaster.

“The Commission has made a decision that for 2019 Tripartite Election, there shall be no official broadcaster for the elections. The Commission has considered that the broadcast industry has undergone some transformation in the past years and the reasons that warranted the issue of official broadcaster no longer exist,” Ansah said.

She added that voters should regard all results broadcast on radio stations during counting of votes as unofficial.

“Stakeholders should note that during polling and results management, if they hear announcement of results on a radio station or television by a MEC Commissioner or official, then they should take that as official communication from MEC,” she said.

During the meeting, Ansah also provided various updates on various activities the body is undertaking ahead of the elections.

On ballot papers, Ansah said the commission is in the process of identifying printers for ballot papers and other associated polling materials and when the printer has been identified the commission will issue a public notice with an intention to award the tender.

“When the printing process of ballot papers commences, the Commission shall inform all political parties regarding the location of the printer so that those that would wish to go and inspect the printing exercise would be free to do so at their own expense,” she said.

Ansah added that the Commission has put in place appropriate measures to ensure that all polling materials are delivered on time at all polling stations.

On transport, Ansah said a transport task force chaired by the Office of President and Cabinet will ensure that adequate vehicles are provided for the polling day and also for any event leading to the polling day.

“The Commission is planning for all scenarios so that should it not get enough vehicles from the government agencies and departments, it should hire from the commercial market,” she said.

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