Don’t declare yourselves winners – Malawi Electoral Commission

While the race to Malawi’s State House evidently favouring an opposition party either in the name of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or Malawi Congress Party (MCP), both former governing parties, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has warned its leaders against rushing to declare themselves winners before the official announcement of the results.

The warning was made Thursday afternoon during a meeting MEC convened to update the stakeholders on the latest status of elections’ results management in its quest to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process.

Mbendera:  MEC  will declare official credible results
Mbendera: MEC will declare official credible results

But as things stand, the race is now between DPP’s Prof Peter Mutharika and party-political novice Dr Lazarous Chakwera of the country’s oldest political party, MCP.

Unofficial results already announced by the accredited media houses, Zodiak Broadcasting Station and MBC Television indicate that despite a few challenges Malawians have voiced that they no longer want to be governed by a female president, who is trailing at third position.

MEC Chairman Justice Maxon Mbendera, reading a statement jointly issued with all the stakeholders at the elections’ National Tally Centre in Blantyre warned all the contestants against making premature declarations before his institution makes a determination.

“Stakeholders are requested not to declare themselves winners before the official results are announced by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC),” said Justice Mbendera.

He also said the commission had undertaken to consider and resolve all complaints submitted and substantiated by participating political parties before announcing final official results.

During the meeting, MEC assured the stakeholders that it was doing everything possible to ensure the results to be announced are credible and are released within the constitutionally provided period of eight days from the last day of polling.

However, in the statement there was no indication as to when exactly the commission would start making the announcement when unofficial results being announced by the radio stations indicated almost all districts have finished counting the votes except some parts of Blantyre and Lilongwe where voting spilled into third day following chaos.

But on Wednesday, 24 hours after95 percent of voters had cast their votes, MEC told reporters it would start announcing the results upon receiving 30 percent of the counted votes.

The stakeholders’ meeting was attended by all the main competing parties’ secretaries general, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and the NGO Board while the civil society was represented by the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN).

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