The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has called for care on the part of electoral staff when receiving polling materials on May 15 and inspecting the materials on May 19th.
Commissioner Reverend Clifford Baloyi made the remarks at a training of District Elections Clerks (DECs) and Constituency Returning Officers (CROs) from the Northern Region on polling procedures and results management for the 21 May 2019 Tripartite Elections held at Ilala Crest Lodge in Mzuzu on Monday.
“Allow me to mention here that with the assistance of the Commission, you shall be responsible for ensuring that all poling materials have been delivered to all Constituencies. I, therefore urge you to be on the lookout for this. Distribution of materials is likely to start on 15th May. The Commission shall allow all stakeholders to inspect polling materials on 19th May, 2019.
“We want the results for the 21st to be very different and to be an example in Africa. The Commission cannot achieve that, without you. The period ahead of us is very critical and one that needs to be approached with careful consideration,” Baloyi said.
Constituency Returning Officer for Mzuzu City Rebecca Chirwa who attended the training affirmed commitment of the returning officers to professional management of the elections.
“The materials are going to arrive on the 15th and when these materials arrive, each polling station has to check and count if they are adequate, so that we do not have a discrepancies and that is why we have set the 19th as the date for checking the materials in all polling centres.
“As CROs’ during this time, we are not supposed to show that we are members of any party and so we are going to conduct our activities in a non-partisan manner so that these elections should be credible,” Chirwa said.
MEC is currently overseeing printing of ballot papers and result sheets in Dubai by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LCC which s is expected to conclude on May 10, 2019.
The polling materials are expected in the country on May 13 while deployment of sensitive polling materials to the District councils is expected to take place between May 15 and May 17 in readiness for the May 21 Tripartite Elections.