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‘Resolve election-related cases’

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By Faith Kadzanja:

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Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has asked the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to address concerns related to Tuesday’s tripartite elections before announcing the winner of the presidential election.

At a press conference held in Lilongwe Sunday, HRDC National Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, said irregularities that marred the election management system risk compromising credibility of the polls.

“Our concerns, as human rights defenders, is not on who wins these elections; rather, on how any of the candidates wins the elections. We want whoever wins to be a true reflection of the will of the electorate. We want Mec to address all the 147 cases in a transparent and accountable manner,” Trapence said.

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Trapence also said the use of Tipp-ex in the results sheets was questionable, even though Mec’s auditors allowed such documents.

“Mec should tell Malawians which standard auditing procedures they are following because, in international audit standards, Tipp-exed documents are not authentic and are immediately disallowed,” he said.

In another development, the Malawi Human Rights Commission has said it is disturbed with reported incidences of election-related violence in some parts of the country.

This is contained in a statement which the commission released on Sunday, signed by executive secretary David Nungu.

“It is alleged that MCP [Malawi Congress Party] supporters perpetrated violence against supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party in the two areas. The commission wishes to condemn such violence in strongest terms,” the statement reads.

Mec Chairperson, Jane Ansah, said Saturday evening before declaring winners of the parliamentary election that cases of irregularities had been ironed out.

And, Sunday, during the afternoon media update, Ansah reiterated Mec’s commitment to resolving outstanding issues, saying Mec continued to receive complaints and find solutions to them.

“The commission will not leave any gray areas,” she said.

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