Elections can 'make or break a nation': MEC Chair says, calling for patience, calm

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MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah on Sunday called upon Malawians to be patient and calm as the electoral body was waiting for the court verdict of the MCP injunction which stops them from announcing the presidential results.

26
May

"While we continue to manage the process, the Commission would like to appeal to the public to maintain peace, calmness and have patience.

 

 

"Elections can make or break a nation; the Commission would not want to be part of breaking this nation," Ansah told a presser at the national tally centre.

 

"We want to give the nation a credible output. The Commission continues to execute its mandate of delivering credible elections to the country," she said.

 

The Commission, she added, "has been working around the clock to manage and finalise the process." Some 5 million Malawians voted on May 21 in the country's  sixth multi-party poll since 25 years ago.

 

The results have delayed after the opposition MCP obtained a court order to stop MEC from announcing the eagerly-awaited results.

 

She said the Commission appreciates the impact the electoral process has had on general social life like slowing down on businesses.

 

No gray areas

 

"While appreciating the need to release the results as soon as possible, the Commission will not leave any gray areas. The Commission wants to issue results that all stakeholders are satisfied with," the Senior Counsel said.

 

The Supreme of Appeal Judge said the Commission was also attending to queries, adding that releasing of the results was interlinked with resolution of queries received against those results.

 

Court injunction

 

On the MCP court injunction, she said the Commission will not proceed to release anything until the court processes are completed.

 

MEC lawyers on Sunday appeared before the High Court to lift the injunction, but a verdict will be made soon by the High Court sitting in Lilongwe before judge Charles Mkandawire.

 

"Our hands are tied. Whatever the court rules, we will follow," Ansah said.

 

The Commission was now tabulating the Local Government Elections results from 462 wards while addressing all complaints. "It is a meticulous process," she said.

 

"We are on course to finish everything before the end of the statutory period of eight days within which to announce the results," she said.

 

External auditors

 

 

Ansah expressed gratitude to development partners for financing the Commission to engage external auditors for the electoral process, saying this had really "enhanced the credibility of the electoral process."

 

"The auditors in the field managed to detect many issues which had to be resolved there before the results were sent to the main tally centre. It could have been a very big task to resolve those issues here."

 

She said the Commission appreciates the critical role played by the auditors and development partners in these elections.

 

It is the first time MEC has engaged external auditors to clean the results. Capital Hill has sponsored the poll to the tune of over K40 billion, with other technical support coming from development partners.

 

The poll was contestly fought, with incumbent President Arthur Peter Mutharika leading in vote count as of Wednesday, while his main rival Lazarus Chakwera of MCP trails him. On third position is Saulos Chilima of UTM.

 

International observers have hailed Malawians for holding a peaceful vote.

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