The Elections Observation Consortium – comprising National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), and Public Affairs Committee (PAC) -says they have been impressed with how the voting process is started and is proceeding in Tuesday court-sanctioned fresh presidential elections .
Briefing the media at the elections situation room at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, the consortium says they have so far received updates from their observers in polling centres who indicate that the voting process is going on smoothly except for a few centres.
In his address, chairperson for the consortium Boniface Chibwana, says for instance, by 6am, 99 percent of the polling centres were opened on time while one percent of the centres delayed due to late delivery of polling materials.
He further says 92 percent of the centres are observing covid-19 precautionary measures.
Chibwana, however, has bemoaned the recruitment of former military personnel allegedly by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as monitors saying the issue must be investigated thoroughly.
“Police sources say statements obtained from the suspects suggest that they were recruited to be party representatives for the DPP. Seven of the suspects are reportedly from the southern region. There are allegations of premarked ballots and intended ballot stuffing but these have not been confirmed yet.
“Ordinarily, the model of recruiting party monitors is locally done. We therefore find the alleged recruitment of ex-service men out of order and reason for further investigation by the law enforcing agencies and the Malawi Electoral Commission,” said Chibwana.
DPP claims the former military personnel were hired to provide security to their monitors.
Hundreds of voters braved the cold weather of the southern hemisphere’s winter to vote as soon as the polls opened at 6 a.m.
Incumbent President Peter Mutharika, is looking for a second and final five-year term in office and is running against Lazarus Chakweraleader of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :