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MCP ‘monitors’ ballot paper printing in Dubai

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By Pilirani Kachinziri:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said it has sent monitors to inspect the ballot paper printing exercise in Dubai.

MCP spokesperson, Maurice Munthali, said they have two people on the ground monitoring the printing process.

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“These are people who are knowledgeable in the electoral process and the printing of ballot papers. They have historical background of the company contracted to print ballot papers,” he said.

Munthali, however, refused to disclose the identity of the said two monitors.

“If there is need for people to know [the monitors’] concerns, findings and recommendations [on the printing exercise], they will do so but if everything is equal they [monitors] will remain silent.

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“No one should tamper with this process. We have eyes on the ground,” he said.

UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga said they would not send monitors to Dubai.

The requirement is that any party that wishes to monitor the printing of ballot papers must sponsor its monitors for their travel and stay in Dubai.

“We have to rely on Malawi Electoral Commission [Mec]. Our hands are tied,” he said.

United Democratic Front spokesperson, Ken Ndanga, said they would make a follow-up either Monday or today.

“We are still discussing on the best way to go about it. We need to come up with a strategy on how we can monitor things,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, said it is Mec which is empowered to run the elections not individual parties.

“Ask the [Malawi] Electoral Commission not individual parties,” he said.

Mec Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika, said the ballot papers are being printed by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC.

The ballot paper printing exercise was expected to run from April 1 to 30.

Mec advised all political parties and candidates wishing to monitor the printing process to get accreditation from the Chief Elections Officer so that they can be granted access to the printing premises.

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