24 May 2014

Malawi: UN Chief Urges Calm, Respect for Tallying Process After Elections

Photo: European Union Election Observation Mission
Voters in a queue at Kanjedza School in Blantyre.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all candidates, political parties, and state institutions in Malawi to remain calm and to support fully the Malawi Electoral Commission in completing its work.

The country held simultaneous presidential, parliamentary and local government elections on Tuesday.

Mr. Ban "commends the people of Malawi for turning out in large numbers for the country's first tripartite elections", his spokesperson said.

Preliminary observer statements indicate that the polling process was "generally consistent with regional and international standards" despite technical problems encountered in the process, according to the statement.

However, there have been accusations of fraud. Malawi's High Court today reportedly rejected a decision by President Joyce Banda to annul the general election - in which she was a candidate - because of alleged irregularities.

In today's statement, Mr. Ban reiterated his call that the candidates and their supporters respect the ongoing tallying process and follow existing legal procedures to resolve any electoral challenges or complaints.

He also urged candidates and supporter to uphold the spirit of the Lilongwe Peace Declaration. Signed on 10 May, it prescribes that candidates shall "take a definitive stand against the possibility of electoral violence, impunity and injustice" during the electoral process.

Mr. Ban also urged political leaders to call on their supporters to refrain from any violence or disruption of the electoral process.

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