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Lazarus Chakwera calls for speedy announcement of results

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By Serah Makondetsa:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera has called on Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) officials to speed up results announcement of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

He made the remarks Wednesday during a press briefing he held in Blantyre at his Namiwawa Township residence.

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Chakwera said it was hard to wait for the final results, further arguing that it was harder when there are reports of malpractices during the wait.

“Some evil people have stepped into the vacuum either to give you false information or to try to interfere with the process tallying results in a desperate and failed attempt to subvert the clear will of Malawians.

“At a recent press briefing, the chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission, Dr Jane Ansah, stated that initial results have started coming in and are being verified in readiness for release. Still, we, as Malawi Congress Party, have been tabulating results from Mec’s own polling centres around the country, which our hardworking and tireless monitors are transmitting to our own parallel tally centre,” he said.

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Chakwera claimed that, from the look of things, it was clear that MCP was leading in the elections.

“So far, the message from Malawians is clear. We know that we, currently, have a commanding lead by double digits that continue to fluctuate between 40 percent and 50 percent of the presidential votes already counted, as well as a number of parliamentary races across the country.

“The signs of victory are evident; not only from the votes from constituencies in the Central Region, but also from the North and the South. Even so, I wish to call on Malawi Electoral Commission to expedite its operations and address the factors delaying the process of transmitting and announcing results in order to ease public fears of tampering with the results,” Chakwera said.

He said the party had received complaints that some Mec monitors were refusing to give a hardcopy to MCP monitors, further threatening if this did not change, he would not accept the results.

Mec will announce the winner of the elections within eight days from polling day.

However, addressing the press at Mec main tally centre in Blantyre Wednesday, Mec Chairperson, Jane Ansah warned political party leaders against making statements that suggest that they are leading in the elections.

She said it was only Mec that had the mandate to announce official results of the elections.

“Political leaders should refrain from making political statements that can stir unfavourable orientation of the public towards the commission. Leaders should not utter statements that would make people live in public fear and discomfort. It is the expectation of the commission that political leaders will avoid making statements that may be understood as implying victory,” Ansah said.

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