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MEC Chairperson bashes politicians over statements 'implying victory'

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MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah has bashed politiicians for making "political statements  that can stir unfavourable orientation of the public towards the Commission" and that imply declaration of victory.

MEC Chairperson Ansah addressing the press MEC Chairperson Ansah addressing the press

"It is the expectation of the Commission that political leaders will avoid making statements that  may be understood as implying victory," the MEC head said this on Wednesday night.


Ansah, without naming any culprit, urged politicians "to refrain from stirring public pressure  against the Commission to release results without considering the due process."


She said: "Political leaders should not make or utter statements that will make people live in  public fear and discomfort."


She could have been indirectly referring to MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera who  on Wednesday warned against attempts to steal votes, claiming as of yesterday he was  leading the race.


Chakwera said his party was making its own vote tallying.


But Ansah, in Wedneday's update briefing at the national tally centre (Comesa Hall) in Blantyre, said no political party, candidate or any other individual can claim to have knowledge of the
results before the Commission declares them.


"The Commission is in possession of your ballot papers. Nobody should overstep the  Commission's authority and make incorrect claims or false claims of being in knowledge of the
results before they are announced," Ansah, speaking boldly before international observers,  journalists, diplomats, rights groups and political parties told a packed hall.


She said the announcement of results was the sole responsibility of MEC.


Ansah insisted that MEC has the mandatory 8 days to announce since polling on May 21,  adding that this will be achieved as of Wednedsay, they had tallied 35 percent of the vote  which showed Chakwera had bagged more votes than his competitors.


From 5,002 polling centres, the Commission had tallied results from 1,784 centres, representing 35.67 percent of the 6,859, 570 registred voters.


Out of these, 1,416, 415 were valid votes and 19,985 votes were declared null and void.


Chakwera polled 533, 217 votes ( 37.65 percent), followed by Arthur Peter Mutharika of DPP ,  524,217 ( 37.01 percent), Saulos Chilima of UTM, 293,978 (20.76 percent), Atupele Muluzi of UDF,
48,766 (3.44 percent), Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development ( 6,113 (0.43  percent), John Chisi of Umodzi Party, 5,786 (o.41 percent) and Reverend Kaliya, independent,  4,308 (0.43 percent).


Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika said the Wednesday results were not final and may change as they continued to tally the final results.


The tallied results are being audited before being examined by commissioners.

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