Party monitors delay inspection of polling materials in Mzuzu

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All is set in Mzuzu City Constituency for the Tripartite Elections tomorrow, May 21 despite a delay in inspection of voter materials in some polling centres which officials have attributed to the absence of monitors at the centres.

Constituency Returning Officer for Mzuzu, Rebecca Chirwa disclosed this in Mzuzu on Monday morning.

Chirwa said that inspection of polling material which was scheduled to take place Sunday in all centres had spilled over to Monday in some centres as political party monitors failed to show up.

“We are very prepared, we distributed the materials to all the polling centres the day before yesterday and now we are in the process of checking the materials because we were given till the 19th to check if all the materials are available,” Chirwa said.

“Some centres did it [inspection of polling materials] very well but some monitors have let us down that is why we have seen that there are still some centres where checking of materials will take place. But we are very ready,” Chirwa said.

One of the remaining centres, St Peters School, successfully conducted the inspection exercise mid-morning on Monday to the satisfaction of political party monitors from independent candidates and political parties such as Malawi Congress Party and Alliance for Democracy.

According to Presiding officer for St Peters Centre, the polling staff will commence setting up of the polling centre in preparation for the elections.

At St Augustine Centre which boasts the largest number of registered voters with seven polling streams for the 2525 who registered to vote from the Centre, preparations are also at an advanced stage with setting up of the polling area set to start in on Monday afternoon.

A total of 88, 576 voters in Mzuzu City have registered to vote in Tomorrow’s Tripartite Elections.

On Saturday May 18, the Malawi Electoral Commission issued a press release reminding political parties, independents and civil society organizations to send their monitors and observers to the poling centres.

The press release also allowed electoral staff to proceed with the inspection of the materials without the party monitors, although some presiding officers said that they were not aware of the permission to proceed with the inspection in the absence of monitors.

While observer missions such as the African Union, the European Union and the Commonwealth are already observing the electoral processes leading up to the Elections in Mzuzu City, some political parties and independent candidates have not yet sent their monitors to the polling centres to prepare for Polling Day. The City has remained calm and peaceful with no violent incidences related to the elections.

According to MEC, the inspection of polling materials is aimed at ensuring that all polling centres have received the right materials in their correct quantities to enable MEC to resolve the anomalies before polling day.

Tuesday, May 21 is the historical day when Malawi’s 6.8 million registered voters are set to elect the country’s next President, Members of Parliament and councillors.

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