… Says MEC wants to ensure results are accurate
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) did not provide an update on the presidential results last night with chairperson Jane Ansah urging Malawians to be patient.
On Thursday afternoon, the commission’s update showed that President Peter Mutharika had taken a slight lead over Malawi Congress Party presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera while UTM candidate Saulos Chilima was trailing the two.
When the commission showed up for another press conference on Thursday night, Malawians expected another update. It did not come.
Ansah said the commission is still receiving and tabulating the results. She urged Malawians to remain calm and let the commission come up with credible results.
She also gave a similar reason for failing to provide an update on parliamentary and Local Government election results.
“You will appreciate that the Commission is also expected to process and resolve complaints at the same time as they are determining the results. We have had to dedicate a great deal of our time to address alleged irregularities and to investigate and resolve some of these complaints according to the Commission’s mandate to ensure that the results brought to you are accurate.
“We are making efforts to ensure that these results are announced on time. Until then I appeal to my fellow Malawians to exercise patience and have faith that we are working to bring the results to you,” she said.
According to Ansah, one of the complaints the commission has received is from Goliati School in Thyolo East Constituency where it was claimed that a total of 11,388 people had voted against 6,088 registered voters.
There was also a complaint from Magunda Court in the same constituency where it was claimed that 1,891 voters voted while the total number of registered voters was 1,346.
Ansah said a MEC team went to investigate and found that Goliati polling centre received 5,700 ballot papers and a total of 5,287 votes were cast, 16 ballot papers were cancelled or spoiled while 351 ballots were unused.
She added that another complaint was received about alleged tampering of results in Mulanje South Constituency at Lauderdale School.
Investigators discovered that result sheets from some of the centres were indeed tampered with by using tippex and new figures were overwritten on the initial entries.
“A thorough scrutiny of all the result sheets has proved that only the sub-totals of Lauderdale School is not adding up. The rest of the results sheets in Mulanje South are in order. The Commission has, therefore, decided to quarantine the results for Lauderdale School polling station which will be reviewed in time and necessary measures will be employed to ascertain the correct results,” Ansah said.