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Malawi’s electoral commission suspends results announcement after tippex vote-rigging claims

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah suspended the announcement of election results on Friday, May 24 to resolve election complaints including tippex vote-rigging claims.

This comes after some election results sheets were amended with tippex, a correction fluid after Malawians voted on Tuesday, May 21 to elect a president, parliamentarians and local government councillors.

Responding to questions during a media briefing at the COMESA Hall in Blantyre about the tippex vote-rigging claims MEC Chairperson Ansah said “its use was synonymous” across the districts.

“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,” she said.

A total of 147 election complaints have been submitted to the MEC which also revealed that none of the electoral commission’s staff was given tippex to use on election result sheets.

According to the latest update from the MEC based on results from 3792 of the 5002 voting centres, Peter Mutharika was leading with 1 436 877 votes (40.49%) followed by Lazarus Chakwera with 1 257 853 votes (35.44%) and Saulos Chilima with 651 124 votes (18.35%).

MEC Update 10: MEC Update on Results Processing

My fellow Malawians
The Commission continued meetings yesterday and today to review and address the complaints received and at the same time determining the results that have been received so far.

Before I proceed with the briefing, I would like to draw your attention to the Malawi Electoral law:

1. Under section 97 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act that stoles: ”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.

2. The Commission received 147 complaints on Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections. Our legal team is expediently reviewing all the complaints received and giving feedback to the complainants.

3. The Commission has shared with all political parties the polling station results received from 98 per cent of the centres in the country. I wish to repeat what I said on Wednesday, that as results are being shared, political parties they should crosscheck with what was obtained by the monitors. If there is any disparity lodge a complaint with the Commission immediately.

4. The Commission earlier today met with the representative’s 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 the announcement of results is interlinked with the resolution of complaints and concerns.

Fellow Malawians, please be reminded of the fact 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 according. With these few remarks, I would like to thank all of you for being present here.

God Bless Malawi!,

Have a blessed day

Malawi election result sheets edited with tippex

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