Tembo rejects MEC’s plan to hold Malawi mock polls: ‘That’s’ preparing to rig’

MCP president John Tembo has described as ridiculous plans by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to hold mock elections countrywide describing the move as ruling party’s attempt to rig the forthcoming tri-partite elections.

MEC officials had recently announces the plan to hold mock election across the country as part of voter education exercise that would help impart knowledge in Malawians on how to cast ballots during the 2014 tri-partite elections.

“This is ridiculous,” Tembo told a local radio, adding: “we want this crucial institution [MEC] to be able to carry out civic education across the country not its proposed mock elections. We know these mock elections are only meant to practice on how best to rig the polls.”

Tembo also wondered why the government is failing to fund MEC for its operations after media reports last week indicated that the institution is broke.

John Tembo: No to rigging tactics
John Tembo: No to rigging tactics

Published reports say Malawi Electoral Commission (EC) has delayed implementation of the electoral calendar because it has no money to start preparations for the 2014 tripartite elections as government did not consider a K1.8 billion (about $4.5m) advance allocation during the Mid-Term Budget Review.

The commission initially submitted a K12.4 billion (about $3.1m) election budget which has since been revised upwards to K18.4 billion (about $46m).

MEC, however, asked for the K1.8 billion advance for preparatory activities that could not wait for the 2013/14 National Budget that will only become effective on July 1 this year.

It is reported that the calendar of events in preparation for the three polls—Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections—has been affected by a lack of funding.

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