20 May 2019

Malawi: All Set for Malawi Watershed Elections - MEC Says All Poll Materials in Centres

Photo: Roy Nkosi/ Mana
Voting in progress at Goliati in Thyolo where President Peter Mutharika will cast his vote.

Elections managers, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says all electoral materials have now reached voting centres except for a few.

Voting materials in centres

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said this at a news conference in Blantyre ahead of the highly contentious tripartite polls on Tuesday.

"By Sunday evening, only a few centres in Mchinji were remaining. We do not expect major operational hiccups this year," said said.

In 2014, some centres opened hours after the official time because of lack of materials due to logistical problems dogging the polls which saw President Peter Mutharika propelled to power after wresting power from Joyce Banda at the ballot box.

Ansah assured Malawians that there might be a few logistical hitches.

Political scientist Ernest Thindwa from University of Malawi's Chancellor College summed up the 2019 election campaign as "relatively better in a number of aspects" compared to previous polls.

He said unlike in the previous elections, this time politicians and parties have been more issue-focused than character assassination.

Thindwa observed that despite some pockets of electoral violence, there were fewer incidents than in 2014.

"I think competition is stiffer this time than in 2014 and this makes prediction of the outcome quite difficult and that is what democracy should be--where results cannot be predetermined.

"Where elections become predictable the electoral process loses its significance but this year it is hard totell which candidate or party will win," said Thindwa.

Slightly over 6.8 million Malawians have registered to vote on Tuesday.

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