Malawi voters figure stands at 7,470,806: MEC suspends 13 officers in Phalombe

The Malawi Electoral Commission says it has finished updating the voters roll and the final figure now stands 7,470,806 voters, compared with the preliminary total of 7,537, 548 voters which gives a downward variation of 66,742 voters.

MEC’s Chairperson Maxon Mbendera said in Blantyre that the variance is arising from “arithmetical errors” in compilation of the final total registered in some centres.

He said in most centres the figures were higher than the actual registered.

“The Commission will make available the text detail of the voters’ roll to all political parties contesting in presidential elections on CDs as was the case during verification,” said Mbendera.

Justice Mbendera : Ready to deliver credible polls
Justice Mbendera : Ready to deliver credible polls

Mbendera also said the distribution of the ballot papers went on well yesterday and finished at 22.20hrs.

“The ballot papers for Likoma District have been kept at the MEC warehouse in Lilongwe and will be airlifted to Likoma on Sunday, May 18.”

On Transportation Mbendera said the commission requires 1,900 vehicles “but at the time of our last meeting there was still a shortfall of some vehicles.”

He however said government has assured the Commission that it will provide the needed vehicles to the Commission.

“Therefore, all stakeholders are being assured that the issue of transport has been taken care of and there should be no fears that the polls may be affected due to transport challenges,” said Mbendera.

In a related development the electoral governing body has suspended all presiding officers for Phalombe Central Constituency to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

He said the Commission conducted investigations which proved that the presiding officers in question received gifts in the form of bicycles, mosquito nets, boxes of chalk and K5,000 from one of the candidates in the Constituency.

“The Presiding Officers, who are head teachers, have consequently been replaced with their deputies and they will not be allowed to conduct any electoral duty in connection to elections activities on behalf of the Commission,” said Mbendera.

The candidate involved has been referred to the Police for their action.

The Malawi Electoral Commission has also issued a stern warning to “some authorities” who are rumored to have been replacing polling staff recruited by the Commission.

The Commission says it is the only authority on recruitment of staff and no one should have done that.

“All people who have been employed to substitute the staff employed by the Commission will not be allowed to work as polling staff.”

The Commission is therefore advising all Constituency Returning Officers that they should not take any instruction on electoral administration from any authority apart from the Commission.

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