MEC receives 147 complaints from all political players, gives reasons of results announcement delay

Written by  Felix Mponda

MEC has received 147 complaints from all political players across the country, Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah told a media briefing at the national tally centre (Comesa Hall) in Blantyre on Friday, saying the announcement of results was interlinked with the resolution of complaints and concerns.

Ansah, flanked by Brigadier General Chikunkha Soko this week during the media briefing at the national tally centre. Ansah, flanked by Brigadier General Chikunkha Soko this week during the media briefing at the national tally centre.
24
May

‘There is no particular party which is a culprit. They are complaints from all political parties, from Chitipa to Nsanje,” Ansah said.

 

Without sorting out the complaints the results would not be accepted, she said. “We will not gloss over the complaints and create an environment for the rejection of results.”

 

Trying to calm down anxious Malawians worried over the delay, she said the law does not allow MEC to go beyond 8 days before announcing the results from the date of polling, May 21.

 

Ansah said the decision to look at each compliant was backed by law under  the Malawi Electoral law: 1. Under section 97 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act which states that: “At the beginning of determining the national result of a general election, the Commission shall take a decision on any matter which has been a subject of a complaint.”

 

“We assure you that abiding by the electoral law, the Commission is utilizing every moment, day and night to ensure that we provide a credible outcome of the polling process. We will make sure that every vote that has been counted at the polling station is counted in the national tally.”

 

Ansah said MEC’s legal team was “expediently reviewing all the complaints received and giving feedback to the complainants.” She added that MEC had “shared with all political parties the polling station results received from 98 percent of the centres in the country.”

 

MEC, under pressure to announce the results from mainly the opposition MCP camp, said: “ I wish to repeat what I said on Wednesday, that as the 2 results are being shared, political parties should crosscheck with what was obtained by the monitors. If there is any disparity, lodge a complaint with the Commission immediately.”

 

She said MEC earlier Friday met with the representatives of political parties to explain to them the complaints received and “how we are resolving them.”

 

“The political parties have appreciated and agreed on the need for the commission to have sufficient time to address and resolve the complaints received. Therefore, at this point the Commission will not be providing an update on the status of results because announcement of results is interlinked with the resolution of complaints and concerns.”

 

She reminded anxious Malawians that announcement of results” is the responsibility, solely, of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) . Please have no doubts about the authority and capability of the Malawi Electoral Commission in managing and announcing the results. The Commission will be advising on the next update accordingly.”

 

MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday when he was leading in partial results announced by MEC, accused MEC of rigging, saying they had delayed to announce the winner.

 

But the tables were overturned when MEC announced on Thursday that incumbent President Profesor Arthur Peter Mutharika was leading with 40.49 percent, followed by Chakwera at 35.44 percent.

 

Ansah blasted Chakwera for implying that he was the winner, saying MEC only had the authority to announce the winner after meticulously going through tallying, auditing and critical analysis of the results and endorsement by MEC commissioners.

 

“Don’t give false hopes,” she said, urging Malawians to remain calm and peaceful as what MEC was doing was to enhance transparency and acceptance of the results.

 

“Transparency will benefit us all in that the results will be accepted. Everybody’s vote will count at the end.”

 

MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika hinted that the presidential poll was “too close to call.”

 

The next MEC update is on Saturday.

 

Four international observer groups have given kudos to Malawians for holding a violent free polling and appealed for continued peace until results are announced.

 

The EU observer mission chief Miroslav Poche has said the ultimate test of elections is the acceptance of the results.

 

Malawi went to its sixth pluralistic poll since the end of dictatorship 25 years ago.

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