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Mec to conduct test run for polls

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By Pilirani Kachinziri:

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) will Thursday conduct a dry test run for results management system in all the 193 constituency tally centres so as to detect the system’s bottlenecks before the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Mec Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfandika, said they will place staff and equipment in all the constituency tally centres and set up a testing main tally centre in Blantyre.

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“Political parties and candidates are welcome to place one monitor at each constituency tally centre at their own cost and should arrange with respective constituency returning officers. Stakeholders wishing to be present during the exercise at the main tally centre that will be at Comesa Hall in Blantyre are welcome,” he said.

Alfandika said the polling staff would receive sample results for the purpose of the test transmission from the constituency tally centres to the main tally centre.

He said issues to do with congestion over the network and possibility of unlawful access to the network would also be critically assessed during this test.

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“The commission envisages [that] there could be some problems encountered in some centres and this is the reason for the test so that any such challenges can be addressed before the 21st of May 2019,” Alfandika said.

He said a second targeted test will be run again before polling day only for the constituency tally centres where challenges may be encountered during the first test run.

Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said results would be transmitted straight from the constituency tally centre to the main tally centre.

“The hard copy and every associated material shall be taken to the District Commissioner’s (office) later. For the purposes of this test, we are just looking at the transmission of the results to the main tally centre,” he said.

Candidates will vie for positions of ward councillor, member of Parliament and president. Six candidates are eyeing the presidency.

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