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Ballot papers to cost K3.4 billion

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By Stephen Dakalira:

CONFIRMED THE DEVELOPMENT—Mwafulirwa

As contestants engage an extra gear in their preparations for the May 21 Tripartite Elections, Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is to spend approximately K3, 418,178,400 ($4,619,160) towards printing of ballot papers for the poll.

This has been revealed by the electoral body when announcing results of a tender for the supply of ballot papers and other materials.

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Al Ghuriar Printing and Publishing LLC of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has been entrusted with the responsibility.

It is the same company that won a tender of a similar nature in Kenya worth $24.2 million but it was not without controversy as an employee of that country’s electoral body was suspended following claims about flouting tender procedures.

“Bidders who wish to be debriefed on this procurement are kindly advised to write the commission through the undersigned within five days,” reads the notice in part, which was floated in the local press.

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Meanwhile, Mec Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa is dismissing as fake a ballot paper circulating on social media and has since urged the public to disregard the same.

“This ballot paper sample is not from the Malawi Electoral Commission … The Commission will share a sample of the final template [without security features] for stakeholders to use for voter education at an appropriate time,” he said.

Mwafulirwa stressed that the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act guides that names of candidates should be arranged in alphabetical order of surnames.

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