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National

Results trickle in slowly

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By Richard Chirombo:

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, Wednesday admitted that voting results were not trickling in as quickly as anticipated, citing, among other factors, the use of head-loaders in some polling centres.

“At some polling centres, which are hard-to-reach, head-loaders were used and, after voting, it would have been impossible for them to carry ballot boxes on the head and cover a long distance,” she said yesterday mormon, when Mec addressed members of the press for the sixth time since May 21.

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Ansah added that some of the factors that led to the delays pertained to difficulties in balancing and reconciling figures before sending them to the main tally centre at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

Mec Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika concurred with Ansah, blaming the development on monitors and other stakeholders’ lack of interest in post-vote-counting processes.

“This is a general problem, where monitors and other polling staff do not seem to pay as much attention to other processes as polling, vote-counting and documentation of results. But processes such as reconciliation are equally important,” he said.

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They, however, said no vote cast would be lost.

Malawi’s tripartite elections are being monitored by local and international monitors, with stakeholders such as National Initiative for Civic Education Public Trust creating a situation room which is helping stakeholders track election-related issues.

Among other things, stakeholders are collecting data from polling centres in real time, with 462 observers reporting on how elections are being managed from the ground.

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