Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera, a presidential hopeful for 2019 elections, has said he can pull a ‘Trump-inspired’ victory if there will be no rigging or maladministration of the polls.
Chakwera was defeated by President Peter Mutharika in 2014 elections but claimed the incumbent won on a stolen vote.
Reacting to the victory of Donald Trump, a Republican, who triumphed despite his party being in opposition and underatted, beating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton who was poised to win the elections according to opinion polls, Chakwera said it is very possible for someone who was not in mainstream politics and government as it were with Trump, to carry the day only if things are done properly.
Chakwera observed in coments quoted in th press that in the US electoral set up, it was difficult for any allegations of rigging or maladministration to creep in due to the decentralised system and that Malawi was better placed to improve the electoral system with technological advancements due to its small geographical size compared to the US.
He said: “This country is small enough to leap-frog what has taken the US years to develop if we had the will to do that. This is the reason we are pushing for IDs and biometric system. Technology is the future, we had better brace up for it.”
Chakwera said:“Modern technology can help a lot; the way our vote counting is done leaves a lot of gaps for rigging. When you travel with ballot papers in the night there is a lot of machinations which can be done and if you compare with the American system, it is extremely impossible to rig the elections because the results are announced right there and then, if things are done differently, opposition can pull a surprise.”
The MCP president, who is also Leader of Opposition, said they demand “ a transparent way of managing elections.”
MCP is also advocating for Malawi to adopt a 50-plus-one system of electing a President from a first-past-the-post.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah who is a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, said advanced technology could simplify electoral processes to achieve credible results.
Ansah said the proposed electoral reforms currently being scrutinised by a Special Law Commission would address some of the challenges of the previous elections, and most recently the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections which was marred by anomalies at voter registration and verification stages as well as at some polling stations when it came to tallying cast votes.