15 May 2019

Malawi: Political Parties Shun Mzuzu City Dry Test Result Transmission Exercise

Mzuzu — Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Monday conducted Dry Test Result Transmission exercise in the absence of all political parties in Mzuzu City.

The exercise which took place at the city's council chambers was only patronized by MEC officials, members of the Press, Mzuzu City Council (MCC) Chief Executive Officer, MacCloud Kadam'manja and two African Union (AU) observers.

Mzuzu City Constituency Returning Officer, Rabecca Chirwa, said it was surprising to note that despite MEC sending invitation letters to all political parties through Multiparty Liaison Committee, none of them turned up for the exercise.

"This is a very important exercise and we expected that representatives of all contesting political parties would be available today for this exercise.

"We could not cancel the exercise because of their absence, we have a fair representation from other stakeholders such as MCC, the media, and the AU observers," said Chirwa.

He said the exercise which is a demonstration of how the official results will be transmitted from the constituency tally center to the national tally center is a very important exercise, hence the need for the presence for all stake holders.

"As much as I am not worried that they have not come, I thought the political parties would be interested to know how the results will be transmitted.

"But as it is, we have done our part, and we have nothing to lose as MEC, we will still use this electoral results transmission process on May 21," she said.

During the exercise, MEC officials demonstrated how results from polling centers in Mzuzu City will be computerized and later be verified by constituency returning officer(s) and other independent verifiers before they are sent through internet to the national tally center.

According to Chirwa, the exercise is expected to help in reducing work load of compiling and transmitting the results manually from constituency tally centers to the main tally center.

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