MEC warns public against disrupting meetings with presiding officers

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has warned members of the general public against disrupting the exercise of collecting statements from presiding officers whose results are being contested in court.

This follows a ruling by the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe on Thursday, 25th July 2019, which gave the commission five additional days to finish the exercise.

The court also told the police to provide security during the process or if necessary seek the assistance of the Malawi Defence Force.

In a statement on Friday signed by MEC chief Elections Officer Sammy Alfandika, the electoral body warned Malawians against attempts to disrupt the process.

“The Commission is informing the public that this is not an election issue but a court process. As such, the Commission’s lawyers have the right consult with the witnesses with full confidentiality and in the absence of third parties.

“No uninvited person will be allowed to be present or interfere with the process. Any attempt will be considered as an interference with the court process and they will be deemed to be in contempt of Court,” Alfandika said.

He added that all presiding officers will be told the time and venues for these meetings.

MEC started meeting presiding officers earlier this month but the exercise was suspended after members of the general public attacked MEC lawyers in Kasungu.

The attack followed claims by the Malawi Congress Party that MEC was forcing presiding officers to sign new result sheets in exchange for money.