No mock polls, says Malawi Electoral Commission

There will be no mock polls ahead of the 2014 tripartite elections, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has  clarified.

MCP president John Tembo described as ridiculous plans to hold mock elections countrywide describing the move as ruling party’s attempt to rig the forthcoming tri-partite elections.

But MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the commission has held several meetings with electoral stakeholders including presidents of political parties represented in Parliament but at no time had it expressed intentions to conduct mock polls.

“Malawi Electoral Commission wishes to clarify recent media reports on broadcast and online media that alleged that the commission has planned to conduct mock polls in 193 constituencies across the country as a way of civic educating voters on how to cast ballots for 2014 Tripartite Elections.

Mwafulirwa: Deny reports of mock polls
Mwafulirwa: Deny reports of mock polls

“The reports further went on describe the plan to hold mock polls as ridiculous, meant to practice how to rig elections or tantamount to rigging. The Malawi Electoral Commission has noted this misinformation to the public with deep regret and wishes to inform all political parties and the general public that it has not planned to hold any mock polls as one way of civic educating the public ahead of the 2014 Tripartite Elections,” reads the statement issued on Wednesday,

MEC indicates that even the work plan and the budget for the 2014 elections, which the commission has agreed with government, and the draft electoral calendar which the commission shared with stakeholders, do not contain any allocation for conducting even a mock poll in a single constituency let alone in 193 constituencies.

“The commission is, therefore, urging all electoral stakeholders to doublecheck information with it before rushing to the media. The commission has taken a consultative approach to the management of elections whereby it will be meeting with stakeholders to get their views on major electoral issues before implementation,” says MEC in the statement.

The statement says the commission understands that the 2014 Tripartite Elections will need extensive civic and voter education and will come up with innovative and cost-effective means of reaching out to the public with electoral messages which will be done in a professional and non-partisan manner.

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