Atupele, UDF also demand vote audit in Malawi polls

United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi and his party on Friday joined the chorus of other two main stakeholders in the polls to demand voter tally sheets from all polling centres to be verified in auditing the results of the elections.

Atupele, said his party has found “serious irregularities” in the counting and has presented to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) tally sheets which show results were doctored or in some circumstance tampered with.

“Some of the tally sheets have two results from once centre,” he said.

Atupele said by electoral law the tally sheets are used for verifying the results with a copy kept by all contesting parties.

Atupele:  No credible results should be accepted
Atupele: No credible results should be accepted

He said without manual verification of the results, the elections would not be seen to be credible and called for MEC chairperson to resign in the event of not following the required electoral law in verifying results.

The UDF president said Mbendera needs to resign due to what he said ‘incompetence’ in the management of the tripartite elections.

“We at UDF then demand that Mbendera should step down for failing Malawians,” said Atupele.

Others reports included hackers breaking in to MEC computers and ballot tallies exceeding the number of registered voters in some constituencies, prompting even President Joyce Banda and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president to demand a manual count.

“It has come to my attention that there are some serious irregularities in the counting and announcement of results in some parts of the country,” Banda said in a statement.

“I call upon the Malawi Electoral Commission to carry out an immediate manual audit of the whole process,” she added, urging Malawi’s 13 million people to remain calm during the delay.

The MEC on Wednesday abandoning its digital results platform after a catalogue of mishaps surrounding the poll.

The results released so far – a partial tally put out by the private Zodiak radio station – gave opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika, the brother of late President Bingu wa Mutharika, a narrow lead over Chakwera who is coming closer.

However, the People Party of Banda, who took over as president after Bingu wa Mutharika’s death in office two years ago, disputed the interim total and said the count had been compromised.

“We have reason to believe that the Malawi Electoral Commission digital election management platform has been hacked by some suspected DPP operatives,” PP spokesman Wakuda Kamanga said a statement.

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