Malawi poll recount to take two months

By | May 26, 2014

via Malawi poll recount to take two months 26/05/2014 by Reuters

MALAWI is only likely to have an official result of its chaotic May 20 election in two months, as the Malawi Electoral Commission embarks on a process to manually count the votes, a senior official said on Monday.

The High Court on Saturday overturned President Joyce Banda’s decree to annul the election that had raised the spectre of violence in the impoverished southern African country.

Banda, southern Africa’s first female head of state, has alleged massive fraud and rampant irregularities in the election in which 11 opposition parties are seeking to unseat her and her People Party.

Preliminary results gave her main rival Peter Mutharika of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party a lead, before the commission (MEC) suspended further announcements.

“The commission has agreed with the parties that an implementation plan for the recount of the ballot papers be done this week,” Commissioner Chimkwita Phiri told Reuters.

“We envisage that the vote audit may take us not more than two months to conclude.”

Banda’s order to scrap the elections and hold a new vote within 90 days triggered protests and was challenged by the electoral authority and Mutharika who said she had no legal grounds.

Banda had indicated she would not be a candidate in new elections, to guarantee a credible outcome.

Her thwarted move was backed by the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the rejuvenated movement of late dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda who ran Malawi with an iron first for 30 years after independence from Britain.

“We have filed complaints and we are ready for a fresh election even today … we also do not agree with the 30 percent official results that the MEC has released so far because of rampant irregularities,” party vice president Richard Msowoya told a news conference in the capital Lilongwe.

The smaller opposition United Democratic Front also wants a recount or a new election, citing rigging in the initial ballot, which was plagued by a plethora of problems including late delivery of voting materials and ballot papers being sent to the wrong places.

The chaos has angered the electorate, and will further displease foreign donors whose approval of Banda, installed as president two years ago after the death in office of Bingu wa Mutharika, has waned after a corruption scandal hit her administration.

“It’s very clear that the electoral commission has caused this mess and they need time to rectify it,” Malawian civil servant Innocent Chikoti said on Monday.

“But then again, I fear the cost of doing this, do we have the money and are donors going to help fund the recount or a fresh election?”


20 thoughts on “Malawi poll recount to take two months

  1. Heighho

    But SADC has endorsed this election as being free fair credible peaceful etc? And the numbers are so overwhelming as to make any cheating Nikuving irrelevant!! What’s good for the Zim goose should be good for the Malawi gander. Please go, Joyce.

  2. andy

    Yet India with 500,000,000 people can hold an election and the result is known the next day!

    1. Petal

      @ Andy- Its called African peoples time- in between there will be alot of fiddling!

  3. obert

    Africa went through the cycle of liberation wars, then came military coups, now its time for election rigging. It will be a long walk for Africa to mature into real democracy and freedom.

  4. Hlaba lungene

    I think SADC should not be represented by presidents but appointed civil leaders with no political affiliation at all. We have been let down by our presidents for too long! Now you see why Botswana is not sending observers?

    1. Petal

      you are 100%right there has never been an article here about Imbisa and they plan Surely how long must it take them to talk to this SADC?

    2. Petal

      The message is not sinking into these thick skull thieving leaders

  5. kufe

    Huyai muone mdhara amai akutipirei nezve nikuv munotohwinha ndimi madii henyu kkkkk mahumbwe chaiwo

  6. gorongoza

    so waht was ZEC and Nikuv doing in Malawai, by the way?

  7. The Mind Boggles

    India 500 000 000 in two days Africa 5 000 000 two months??? Clowns it is said 13 is an unlucky number as primitive people have ten fingers and two feet and don’t know what comes after 12!!!! Whose doing the counting I ask???

  8. Abbu

    Its funny Mugabe as SADC chair will endorse e elections. Maybe he will intervene to set a “GPA” and a GNU of PP w Banda as president tho she has less votes, Mutharika as PM tho w more vote and MCP’s president as DPM

  9. Petal

    The bottom line Joyce Banda does not want to step down

  10. Nasio

    This banda woman is going nowhere. You think with consultant mugarbage and nikuv on the side she can lose, no way. After those 2 months she will have a million more votes. African democracy for you.


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