The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has dismissed an appeal by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that they were supposed to be present as the commission was reviewing the null and void votes in the June 23 fresh presidential election.
The commission is reviewing votes which were categorized as null and void to ascertain if they are indeed null and void or if they had to be approved as valid votes.
Addressing the media in Blantyre, Mec Chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale said the commission has rejected the DPP’s complaint because among other things votes were classified as such at the polling station level where all the parties were represented.
“We are not counting the votes as a commission at this level but instead just performing a quasi-judicial function in accordance with Section 97 of the PPE Act. The votes were designated as such at polling station level in the full presence of the party representatives and all we are doing is to determine if the votes are indeed null and void or not,” he said.
Kachale said in the process the commission has found some of the votes wrongly designated as null and void and have been added to the candidates accordingly.
Kachale also said the commission projects to be through with the process of tabulation and reviewing the null and void votes and deliver the final results of the election within 36 to 48 hours.
He said the commission has noted a number of complaints in the complaints record books most of which such as missing names, and transfers were resolved at the polling centre level.
During the press briefing Deputy Commissioner of police Noel Kayira said the police have so far recorded 38 electoral offences involving 46 people in total.
“Out of these cases, 15 were committed before the poling, 21 during polling while 2 were committed after polling. Some of the people are still in custody while others are out on bail,” he said.
Meanwhile, early celebrations started at the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) headquarters in Lilongwe Thursday.
MCP supporters were seen celebrating victory ahead of the announcement of official results by Mec.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.