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Peter Mutharika makes poll rigging claims

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By Peter Kanjere:

President Peter Mutharika, who is also governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torchbearer in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, Sunday claimed that some quarters want to rig the elections.

Mutharika made the claims when he held a whistle-stop tour in Chirimba Township, Blantyre, months after his estranged Vice President Saulos Chilima, who is UTM leader, made similar claims after quitting DPP to form his party.

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“I have heard that some people want to rig elections and they are bringing some people from outside the country to help rig elections because they know they can’t win. But let me warn them. I am watching you.

“I am watching you. I am watching you. When I am ready, I will go after you. Planning rigging is a crime and I will go after you big time, so you better stop the nonsense you are doing. Let people choose with dignity without any kind of interference,” Mutharika said.

Asked for his comment in view of Mutharika’s remarks, Malawi Electoral Commission Public Relations and Media Director, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Sunday said they have put in place measures to preserve the integrity of the elections.

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“We are also taking measures to ensure [that] we are as transparent as possible and that stakeholders are updated on the measures we are putting in place.

“Our IT systems are tight and we continually engage certified ICT security experts to ensure we are not compromised. People should also know that we will not do electronic or internet voting.

“We will vote using paper ballot. Results will be counted at the polling station and tallied at the constituency level. This is a simple process that everyone can follow and keep track of,” Mwafulirwa said.

Chancellor College political scientist, Mustafa Hussein, Sunday said there was no need to fear that the elections would be compromised.

“He might be saying this based on the intelligence he has, but we need some tangible evidence. His intelligence does not mean that it is factual. Many people have talked about fears of rigging but there is no evidence,” Hussein said.

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