Malawi Electoral Commission says vote recount may take 30 days
LILONGWE, May (Xinhua) -- Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson on Monday announced an official result of the vote recount will come out after 30 days and they will embark on a process to manually count the votes.
Chairperson Maxon Mbendera said at news conference that the Commission has halted the process of initial counting to allow for a recount of the votes where "serious irregularities" were noted, saying that it will take another 30 days for the current political circus to reach its conclusion.
"It time we get united, I appeal to political parties to come together and use available mechanisms that would allow Malawians know the results of their choice. I wish to assure you that we will continue to provide adequate security to the process and we will be monitored," said Mbendera, who is also High Court judge.
Mbendera received an support from Malawi Congress party (MCP), People's Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) representatives at the National Tally Center in Blantyre while booed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters.
The MEC Chairperson said during the recount, he appealed for all parties to send senior officials than those it had used before.
Amid the electoral confusion, the United Nations and the European Union have called for calm.
The May 20 elections were marred with several irregularities among them insufficient voting materials, delays in commencement of the voting process, and number of voters in particular districts failing to tally with the registered voters in the particular districts.
MCP and PP had from May 22 asked the country's electoral body to respond to the complaints of alleged rigging that the parties had lodged.
On May 24, President Joyce Banda, whom MEC's preliminary vote count placed on third position, asked the Commission to halt the whole process and that there should be a fresh election within 90 days, a directive that many legal experts in the country laughed off.
This was the first time that Malawi held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on the same day.