Seven commissioners in the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) have said in a communique that they decided that results in the chaotic presidential elections be withheld as they could “not be relied upon”, citing “discrepancies”, Nyasa Times can reveal.
The communique seen by Nyasa Times is signed by commissioners, Reverend Mezuwa Banda, Nancy Tembo, Wellington Nakanga, Elvey Ntafu, Stanley Billiat, Reverend Emmanuel Chinkwita Phiri, Gloria Chingota and Allan Chingota.
The commissioners said in their meeting on May 25 agreed that “the only way to get credible result was by conducting a physical audit of the vote by reopening the ballot boxes and recounting the ballot cast.”
The seven commissioners said they have not determined and “cannot determine the result of the presidential election relying merely on documentation received from Constituency Returning Officers”.
MEC commissioner said the only credible result can only come after “a physical audit and comparison with the result received from Returning Officers.”
A legal battle over the release of Malawi’s electoral results was expected to end with High Court determination on whether or not the results will be published on Friday.
But with seven Commissioners not vouching the results, there would be no outcome.
On Monday, the electoral commission ordered a recount in some areas after discovering some voting anomalies after last Tuesday’s general election.
Before the recount, in one constituency, nearly five times as many people voted as there were names on the voters’ roll.
Meanwhile, Malawi police shot dead a protester on Friday in the eastern district of Mangochi, after dozens of people barricaded roads with burning tyres and smashed shop windows to demand a recount of a May 20 presidential vote.
“In the ensuing fracas one person has been shot dead as police tried to defend themselves after being overpowered by angry protesters,” said police officer Elijah Kachikuwo.
“We also have two police officers who have been seriously injured.”
Last week’s poll had been plagued by problems from the outset, with voting materials turning up hours late and ballot papers being sent to the wrong parts of the country. Organisers had to extend voting in some urban areas for a second day and initial counting was delayed by power outages and a lack of generators at polling stations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :