As Malawians wait patiently for the official results of Tuesday’s Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has appealed to the country’s media to continue preserving peace.
MEC Chairman Justice Maxon Mbendera told journalists at the Elections National Tally Center in Blantyre Thursday night it was important for the media to stick to their terms of reference (ToR) when announcing the results.
“Those announcing results must always put a disclaimer that they are unofficial and the official results will be determined and announced by the Malawi Electoral Commission,” said Mbendera.
The Commission appointed only Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Malawi Broadcasting Station Television as official broadcasters of the elections’ results and other communication from the Commission.
However, the commission has not stopped many other local radio stations from broadcasting the results as they are filed by their correspondents from the district tally centers.
So far there have been no complaints from the public against ZBS and MBC in the manner in which they are airing the results save for the Peoples Party (PP) attempt to have them stop airing the results when voting was still in progress.
“So far, the two broadcasters have worked and abide by the provision of the broadcasting licences, the Media Code of Conduct on Reporting Elections and relevant legislation on elections.”
Voting spilled over into third day with the results showing a tight side by side marathon between opposition parties Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), both former ruling parties.
The incumbent Joyce Banda is trailing third with the youthful Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front evidently coming fourth.