29 May 2014

Malawi: MEC Says Will Announce Elections Results On Friday

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Malawi Electoral Commission I am here to report on developments and progress in the Tallying of the election results.

The law requires the Commission to announce its determination of the national election results within 8 days from the last day of polling.

As you will recall, our last day of polling was on Thursday, 22 May. Therefore the Commission has a legal duty to announce the results not later than Friday, 30 May, 2014.

The law allows the Commission to announce the results within 48 hours after collecting all relevant information.

This 48 hours is provided to allow the Commission to attempt to resolve any complaints that have been lodged. As of this afternoon the Commission has registered 287 complaints of which it has processed 188.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I can now report to the Nation that the Commission has received and tallied all of the results for the Presidential election at the National Tally Centre.

As such, the 48 hour countdown has started and the Commission will announce the determination of official results for these elections on Friday, 30 May.

The Commission will utilize the remaining two days to finalize and resolve the complaints it has received for the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections.

If all complaints cannot be resolved within the remaining time, candidates will still be able to take up any concern via a petition to the High Court, within seven days of the announcement of the results, as the law provides for.

The Commission has also continued with the verification of the results. We are working diligently to identify any irregularities. This includes the 58 polling centers where the number of valid votes reported to have been cast have exceeded the number of registered voters.

These issues will be commented on in our report to the Nation on the announcement of the determination of results.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are all aware of the legal controversy that has surrounded the possibility of the Commission conducting a recount.

At this stage we await clarity from the Courts on this issue, as they seek to resolve the injunctions and counter-injunctions being lodged.

On this issue, the Commission has met with many of the stakeholders in the electoral process. In the past few days we have met with the Secretaries-General of the political parties, PAC - the Public Affairs Committee - Civil Society Organizations, and election observer groups.

To all of these groups I must extend my sincere gratitude for their commitment and support to the Commission as we have all wrestled with these issues. Our advice to these stakeholders is that it is not feasible for the Commission to conduct a full recount within the period available to it, and if it were possible, a Court order would be required to extend the period for announcement of results.

Malawians are a law abiding people. We are known as the warm heart of Africa. The commitment of all Presidential candidates through the Lilongwe Peace Declaration confirms these sentiments.

The Commission is preparing to announce its determination of the results of these elections on Friday, 30 May, or as the Court may direct.

Thank you.

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