MEC silence on results disservice to the nation—Hajat

Pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is “doing the nation disservice” to Malawians by withholding Tuesday’s presidential election results, prominent civil rights activist and executive director for Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI), Rafiq Hajat, has said.

Hajat: Nation in suspense

Three days after the country’s tripartite elections, MEC has only released 35 percent of the presidential results and has withheld the rest despite over 99.8 percent of the vote being tallied.

MEC chairperson, Jane Ansah, in a national address Friday, the results would continue to be held until various complaints regarding the election were resolved.

She said the Commission had received a total of 147 complaints in the Presidential, Parliamentary as well as Local Government Elections.

But Hajat, in an interview with the press on the sidelines of MEC’s briefing at Comesa Hall in Blantyre, said MEC was being unfair to the nation for taking “too long” to announce the results.

“The argument of waiting until the complaints are resolved does not hold. Why cant MEC separate the vote that is in dispute and go ahead in updating us with the rest?” argued Hajat.

He said as far as he was concerned minus the votes that are affected by the 147 complaints, the rest were credible.

“They [MEC] knew that they were going to get these complaints. I am sure they planned ahead well enough. They should simply quarantine the votes in question and continue updating the nation rather than keeping it in suspense. They have done that with results from other centres,” he insisted.

According to Hajat, keeping the nation in suspense was recipe for disaster.

“By keeping the nation in silence you create a vacuum. And where the gap becomes so narrow as it is now it becomes chaotic,” said Hajat.

He added: “I think the Commission does not have investigative capacity, and that is why they are taking too long. I think they should have been updating the nation simultaneously as they sort out the complaints.”

However, Ansah insisted that she would withhold the results arguing the complaints concerned were critical to the outcome of the final presidential elections result.

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