By Pilirani Kachinziri:
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is working on a new result management system in a bid to deliver a free, fair and credible May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Mec Chief Executive Officer, Sam Alfandika, said this Tuesday when he briefed members of the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Service Reform on the progress made ahead of the elections.
The 2014 Tripartite Elections were overshadowed by rigging reports largely because of a poor result management system.
Alfandika said, for the 2019 elections, the commission shall position constituency returning officers (CRO) in their constituencies, unlike in 2014, when they were stationed at council offices.
“The procedure for results counting is that votes will be counted per stream and the presiding officer will prepare a summary for that polling centre—with polling centre results in figures and words and signed by all party monitors and other stakeholders.
“The results will also be pasted at the centre and each monitor will also get a copy of the stream results and centre summary for each position contested for. The presiding officer will then take the results to the constituency returning office,” Alfandika said.
He said CROs would then receive results and do a tally for each ward in case of Local Government Elections, then constituency in case of Member of Parliament and also do a tally for the presidential elections.
“The CRO will announce the final tally for each candidate. The CRO will transmit results direct to the main tally centre in Blantyre and, later, take the results to the council office for the District Commissioner to compile the district tally,” he said.
Alfandika said Mec would introduce independent external auditors to verify results at constituency tally centres and the national tally centre before any transmission or official announcement is made.
“Honourable Chairperson, the commission undertakes to continue to employ stringent measures to ensure that the whole process, up to management and processing of results, is carried out with utmost credibility. It is the commission’s mission to administer elections that are free and fair, credible and cost-effective at the same time,” he said.
Alfandika also assured committee members that it would strive to solve transport problems during the elections so as to avoid the 2014 scenario.
Mec officials will meet today in Lilongwe to deliberate on the final analysis of nomination papers from presidential candidates which were presented to the commission last week at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.