17 May 2014

Malawi: Final Voters Roll Decreases By 66,742 Voters

Blantyre — The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it has registered a downward variation of 66,742 voters in its final consolidated voters' roll.

Addressing the media on Saturday at Mount Soche in Blantyre, the commission'schairperson, Justice Maxon Mbendera said the final figure of voters now stands at 7,470,806 compared with the preliminary total of 7,537, 548 voters.

"The variance is arising from arithmetical errors in compilation of the final total registered in some centres. In most centres the figures were higher than the actual registered," said Mbendera.

Mbendera said the commission will make available the text detail of the voters' roll to all political parties contesting in presidential elections on CDs as was the case during verification.

He said the commission has dispatched a total of 24 million ballot papers to all district councils in the country excluding Likoma where the District Commissioners will make distribution to various polling centres.

"The Commission yesterday, Friday, May 16, 2014 dispatched ballot papers to all councils except Likoma.

"The distribution of the ballot papers went on well and finished at 22.20hrs. The ballot papers for Likoma District have been kept at the MEC warehouse in Lilongwe and will be airlifted to Likoma on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

"Meanwhile, Chitipa district council has acknowledged receipt of their ballot papers," said the electoral body chair.

The chairperson further assured all stakeholders that the issue of logistics has been taken care of and there should be no fears that the polls may be affected due to transport challenges.

"The Transport Taskforce had a meeting on transport situation for polling. The requirement is 1,900 vehicles and at the time of our last meeting there was still a shortfall of 40 vehicles.

"However, government has assured us that it will provide the needed vehicles to the Commission as soon as possible for us to work efficiently," explained Mbendera

Meanwhile the MEC's Chair has marked May 17 as the last day for all contesting candidates to address their meetings and conduct final activities since campaigning for the May 20 tripartite elections ends on Sunday, May 18, at 6.00 a.m.

"No one will be allowed to engage in any campaign from 6.00am Sunday; whether it is a candidate or their agents. The Commission will not allow candidates or their supporters to be going around in convoys and hooting.

"Leaders of various faiths should be on guard because their services can be used for campaign and even the clergy themselves should avoid projecting candidates," explained Mbendera who further warned all radio and television stations not to broadcast or rebroadcast any news and programmes that contain campaign materials or play political party songs after 6.00 a.m. of Sunday morning.

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