Last ballot batch here

The second and final batch of parliamentary ballot papers for the May 21 Tripartite Elections arrived yesterday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.

This follows the first batch which was flown in by Emirates Sky Cargo on Monday.

Briefing the media at KIA, Malawi Elections Commission (MEC) chief elections officer Sam Alfandika said the papers would be categorised according to districts and constituencies after which they will be dispatched to respective councils.

Alfandika: Political parties will inspect

He said: “We will have political parties inspect them. They have the packing list and they will check if all the ballot papers have indeed arrived and on the 16th of this month [tomorrow], we will dispatch them to the districts.”

Alfandika said ballot papers are an integral part of the elections since the country is having paper-based elections.

The chief elections officers was also confident that no ballot papers would get lost but said should that happen, there is a cover up plan.

He said: “We have printed a three percent contingency of the ballot papers so should there be, for whatever reason, some ballot papers missing, we will use that lot to cover up.”

MEC commissioner Jean Mathanga expressed satisfaction with the preparations so far, saying: “So far, everything is happening as planned.”

Youth Empowerment and Civic Education executive director Lucky Mbewe hailed MEC for a good job in handling of the ballot papers so far.

He said: “I was there during the arrival of ballot papers in 2014 and the situation wasn’t as calm as it is today. This shows that stakeholders and political parties are happy with how things are being done. MEC has assured us that it has hired sufficient security to ensure no one tampers with the ballot papers.”

MEC earlier said an MDF platoon would provide security for the ballot papers at a warehouse within KIA until the disbursement to councils tomorrow.

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