Rigging fears downplayed, Malawi Electoral Commission takes tough stance

The Malawi Electoral Commission has issued a stern warning to “some authorities” who are rumored to have been replacing polling staff recruited by the  Commission and has said there will be no rigging in the 20th May Tripartite Elections..

In statement issued Friday the Commission says it is the only authority on recruitment of staff and no one should have done that.

“All people who have been employed to substitute the staff employed by the Commission will not be allowed to work as polling staff.”

Justice Mbendera:  There will be no rigging
Justice Mbendera: There will be no rigging

The Commission is therefore advising all Constituency Returning Officers that they should not take any instruction on electoral administration from any authority apart from the Commission.

“Should they be in doubt they should refer their matters to the

Commission through the following call centre numbers:0111 743 327,0111744374; 0111 742 874, 0111744073, 0111 746 619, 0111745273; 0111 744 365 and  0111 743 263.”

In another development, the  Commission is appealing to media managers who will be deploying staff away from the centres where they registered, to send  list of their names through the commission’s spokesperson and the districts where they will be covering the elections.

“We want to process documentation so that they can be allowed to vote where they will go.”

Meanwhile, MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera has said the software to be used for transmission of results is secure because it cannot be hacked into, no result will be announced before it is verified by all participating candidates or their parties.

“This software only knows us [MEC] and we know this software – it does not know anybody else and we know no other software. So how will rigging take place? I ask again,” Mbendera said as quoted by Weekend Nation.

He added: “After we receive each result, we will give it to the contesting parties to verify it with their people on the ground. It is only after the verification has taken place when we will announce that result.”

In the event of rigging being proven, Mbendera said MEC will make a decision based on a determination whether the malpractice has affected the entire election or just part of it.

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