With nearly all votes counted in Malawi’s presidential election and complaints being resolved by the electoral body, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate and incumbent President Peter Mutharika has maintained a lead over the opposition, Nyasa Times understands according to figures yet to be declared official.
Mutharika is likely going to be declared winner by the Justice Jane Ansah-led Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as Malawi operates a first past the post system, whoever comes top irrespective of the percentage will be declared winner.
In 2014 Mutharika won with just 36 per cent of the vote.
Ansah announced on Friday that they had received results from 3,792 centres out of the 5,002.
This was 75.81 percent of the total polling centres. The total number of ballot casts is 3,601,538. A total of 3,548,848 are valid votes while 52,690 votes are null and void.
Making an announcement of the presidential results at midday yesterday, Ansah said Mutharika was leading with 1 436 877 votes representing 40.49 percent.
The results, from 75.81 percent or 3 792 of the 5 002 polling stations, also put Chakwera on second position with 1 257 853 votes, representing 35.44 percent with UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima trailing third with 651 124 votes, representing 18.35 percent.
United Democratic Front candidate Atupele Muluzi was a distant fourth with 161 499 votes or 4.55 percent of the votes.
Prior to making the announcement, Ansah said all political parties present at the main Tally Centre in Blantyre had results for the presidential, parliamentary and Local Government elections.
“Our expectation is that they will also crosscheck with their monitors and come back to the commission if there is any disparity,” she said.
But Malawi Congress Party (MCP) led by reverend Lazarus Chakwera is claiming to be winning the tightly contested polls as the supporters started celebrating what they believe will be a victory declared by the electoral commission.
And UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati has said the party may call on the electoral body for a full recount of the votes.
“Signs are there that the election is marred by fraudulent activities. This is why we may ask for a total recount of the votes from the districts to ascertain the winner,” said Kaliati on the sidelines of pandemonium on Friday at MEC head office over a truck suspected to have been carrying pre-marked votes from Chikwawa.
Under the electronic tallying system, results are canned and sent to the national tallying centre in Blantyre, using specially designed forms that have several security features. The commission also has auditors who will confirm figures before they are released and displayed on giant screens at the national tally center.
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