There will be no rigging – Malawi Electoral Commission

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) through its Chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera has moved in swiftly to arrest any fears of possible rigging in the forthcoming tripartite elections and has assured Malawians that the commission is committed to deliver credible elections.

This is in an almost direct response to the sentiments that have been expressed my many presidential candidates during the last in the series of Presidential Debates which was held in Blantyre on Tuesday evening.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a briefing meeting which MEC had with District Commissioners and Chief Executives in Lilongwe on Wednesday at Bingu International Conference Centre, Mbendera said the room for rigging is non-existent.

Justice Mbendera : The room for rigging is non-existent
Justice Mbendera : The room for rigging is non-existent

“Listening to the statements of most presidential aspirants during the debate they say they will only accept the results if MEC work out the elections in a free and fair manner, in a way that is beyond reproach, that every Malawian will be convinced that MEC did all they ought to do.”  Mbendera said.

The MEC Chairperson therefore parried fears of rigging saying the stakes were just too high in the May 20 elections and therefore MEC cannot afford to sale and let down Malawians by not offering them elections which are free, fair and credible.

“These elections are too important for all Malawians and money is not what it takes to determine the winner. Our integrity and honesty should lead the way. We seek to offer free, fair and credible elections and fairness will only come by what we will do,” said the MEC Chairperson.

When asked if as a Commission they had any clue as to why people are raising such fears, Mbendera said he was also equally surprised as to why people think rigging in these elections is even possible.

“Malawi is a place where rumour mongering is our highest conviction, our highest call and our highest occupation. You witness a mistake with the voter verification and we quickly call that a rigging ploy, I would like to say that we should get away from this view about everything we see.

“And I do not know where this starts from. People speaking lightly of rigging, rigging and stealing of elections is a serious matter and people are just talking about it as if it is nothing. I would like Malawians to speak of issues they have evidence on, if you ask anyone who is speaking of these issues no one will give you evidence. We have asked them to bring forward the evidence but none has done that,” said Mbendera.

And on commenting on the briefing with the District Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers which has been organised with the aim to discuss polling and results management issues, Mbendera asked them to give Malawians the very best of service in the election process.

“We want all parties to have access to all venues without distinction of party or without discrimination. They should be given in a fair manner all grounds for them to conduct their campaign. And on the day of voting we want you to help in the supervision so that all eligible voters are allowed to vote,” he said.

Principal Secretary for Local Government Christopher Makileni also expressed his belief that as supervisors they will deliver what is expected of them from Malawians.

“Malawians have trust that you will do a good job and that the elections will be free and fair and it is my hope that you will live up to these expectations,” said Makileni.

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