Malawi poll results on Friday- Mbendera

Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Maxon Mbendera says the commission may announce its determination of the national election results on Friday in according to the law that requires the Commission to announce election within 8 days from the last day of polling – unless the High Court act otherwise.

Mbendera briefed reporters at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre Wednesday night that the Commission has received and tallied all of the results for the Presidential election.

“The law allows the Commission to announce the results within 48 hours after collecting all relevant information. This 48 hours is provided to allow the Commission to attempt to resolve any complaints that have been lodged,” he said.

 Commissioner Chinkwita Phiri (left) and Mbendera:  Results out Friday
Commissioner Chinkwita Phiri (left) and Mbendera: Results out Friday

He said as of Wednesday afternoon the Commission has registered 287 complaints of which it has processed 188.

“As such, the 48 hour countdown has started and the Commission will announce the determination of official results for these elections on Friday, 30 May as the Court may direct,” he said,

Mbendera e said the Commission will utilize the remaining two days to finalize and resolve the complaints it has received for the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections.

“If all complaints cannot be resolved within the remaining time, candidates will still be able to take up any concern via a petition to the High Court, within seven days of the announcement of the results, as the law provides for,” he said.

The MEC chair said the Commission has also continued with the verification of the results. We are working diligently to identify any irregularities.

“This includes the 58 polling centers where the number of valid votes reported to have been cast have exceeded the number of registered voters. These issues will be commented on in our report to the Nation on the announcement of the determination of results,” he said.

On the legal controversy that has surrounded the possibility of the Commission to conducting a vote recount, Mbendera said the Commission is awaiting clarity from the Courts on this issue, “as they seek to resolve the injunctions and counter-injunctions being lodged”.

“On this issue, the Commission has met with many of the stakeholders in the electoral process. In the past few days we have met with the Secretaries-General of the political parties, PAC – the Public Affairs Committee – Civil Society Organizations, and election observer groups,” said Mbendera, who is himself a appeal’s judge at the supreme court.

He however said it is not feasible for the Commission to conduct a full recount within the period available to it, and if it were possible, a Court order would be required to extend the period for announcement of results.

President Joyce Banda attempted to declared the vote “null and void”, saying it was marred by “serious irregularities”, and court orders and injunctions have flown back and forth.

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