Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

2 May 2014

Malawi: Chakwera Speaks Out On Election Process

Lilongwe — Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate in the recent election, Lazarus Chakwera, Thursday expressed his party's dissatisfaction with the election process saying there were a lot of anomalies.

Chakwera addressed a press briefing at the party's Headquarters in Lilongwe Thursday afternoon just a few hours after the People's Party (PP) candidate President Joyce Banda released a statement condemning the whole process and calling for manual recount of votes.

In his statement, the MCP candidate said his party had lodged a formal complaint to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and that the party was awaiting the electoral body's response.

Among the challenges MCP raised to MEC was that there was serious lack of sufficient polling materials resulting in unacceptable options such as cardboard being used as ballot boxes.

The party also observed failure by MEC to supply lamps and torches despite knowledge that most centres opened late and would as a result close late.

Explained Dr Chakwera: "There was also failure to supply forms for recording result in some stations Returning Officers proposing to record results on plain or improvised forms.

"We demand that before any official final results are announced, MEC must receive and check the results received from the Constituency Returning Officers against the physical Station Councilors' result sheet."

Chakwera said MCP remained hopeful that MEC would do everything to ensure a free, fair and credible election.

The MCP candidate appealed to all supporters and all Malawians to continue remaining calm until the results were officially announced.

"We should all remember that the darkest hour is near dawn, and when the sun is covered by the clouds it does not mean the sun does not exist anymore, so let's remain calm to the end," said Chakwera.

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