Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has asked Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to explain which auditing procedures its official auditors are following because in international audit standards, ‘Tipp-ex-ed’ [correction fluid ] documents are not authentic and therefore are immediately dismissed.
The vocal civil society organisation made the statement as High Court on Sunday postponed indefinitely the release of final results from last week’s presidential vote, adding to the electoral chaos and tension in the impoverished nation.
“Malawians are inquisitive on how MEC is handling such result sheets,” HRDC said in a statement signed by its chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence.
The statement was issued at a press conference held on Sunday in Lilongwe.
The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) turned to the courts because of what it’s secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka described as “very glaring irregularities” on results sheets turned in from polling stations which had been tippexed.
The civil society noted that MEC has admitted that they did not distribute Tipp-ex to poling centres and said Malawians would therefore want to know who is behind such alleged criminal behaviour.
“We have trust that MEC, in collaboration with all electoral stakeholders will address all these anomalies in a transparent and accountable manner.
“It is an open secret that the results management system of these elections has been marred by inexcusable iregularities that if left unaddressed would heavily compromise the credibility of these elections.”
Human Rights Defenders said their concern is not on who wins the elections or how any of the candidates wins but they wantb a true reflection of the will of the electorate.
“We say no to any form of alleged electoral manipulation and fraud. We expect and call upon MEC to address all the complaints including the 147 cases in a transparent and accountable manner as such we will expect MEC to share the evidence with all stakeholders and citizens as to how they have addressed the complaints.
“The will of the people should be respected at all cost. It goes without saying that one of the core mandates of the Malawi Electoral Commission is to deliver a free, fair, accountable and credible elections.”
While the CSOs applaud MEC for managing other stages of these elections process, including the periodic updates during the tabulations of elections results, they have expressed dismay with numerous challenges which has marred the electoral results management process.
“MEC owes Malawians explanation as to how some of its officials such as presiding officers and clerks are also allegedly implicated in these electoral malpractices.
“There is overwhelming evidence of electoral fraud writen all over and it is frightening how on numerous occasions MEC has either dismissed these concerns as mere social media antics or promised to address the same but has scantly provided feedback to the nation.”
HRDC also applauded the Malawi Defense Force, MalawiPolice Service and Malawians at large for their vigilance in jealously guarding the integrity of the elections thus far.
“To this end we call upon all stakeholders to remain vigilant but avoid violence and anything that would incite violence. If need arises for citizens to hold demonstrations, Malawians should be allowed to do so within the dictates of the laws.
“We also call upon all security agencies including the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defense Force to exercise retrain and apply standard operating procedures in dealing with demonstrations.
“We give MEC time stipulated within our laws to address all the challenges and deliver a free, credible and fair elections,” said the statement .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :