Blantyre: Malawians on Tuesday, May 20 went to polls to choose their presidential, parliamentary and local council representatives in their first tripartite elections. The elections were faced with many hiccups including delayed delivery of voting materials to some voting centres and few instances of violence and disorder.
The voting process has taken three days. However, the chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Justice Maxon Mbendera has said the elections were free and fair and are credible.
Entering of the votes into the tabulation system is still underway at MEC, though the system is said to have been ‘compromised’ and ‘tampered with’ by incumbent president Dr. Joyce Banda.
“I will accept the outcome of the election when the voters audit has been done,” she said.
MEC has denied the allegations, but has acknowledged receipt of over 130 complaints from various stake stakeholders including the three major parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF), and Peoples Party (PP) on various issues of the voting process.
Unofficial results which were compiled by the official broadcaster Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) have been released and they currently show Professor Peter Arthur Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the winner with Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of MCP as runner up. Dr. Joyce Banda of PP is in third place and Mr. Atupele Muluzi is in fourth place.
Though the latter three have called for a vote recount, disputing the amount of votes amassed by Prof. Mutharika, they have all said they will accept what the official results will be.
The official results are said to be released by Thursday, May 29, according to Mbendera.
In the meantime the presidential hopefuls in separate press briefings have called on Malawians to remain calm and peaceful and wait for the official results.