With the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) yet to release official results of the May 20 Tripartite Elections, three of the contesting political parties have dismissed unofficial results indicating that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is leading.
The three parties are Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and incumbent President Joyce Banda governing People’s Party (PP).
Unofficial results from various polling centres being announced on radio and television stations show that DPP, the former governing party, is leading; followed by MCP with PP and UDF trailing in third and fourth respectively.
But Dr Blessings Chinsinga, a political analyst based at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, said Malawians have spoken and that should be accepted as such.
He said the country too will have to review its voting patterns more seriously as the elections speak differently from people’s expectations.
Said Chinsinga: “DPP has not exactly scored well in the Central and Northern regions, but has scored in isolated districts in these regions. It is a fact that it will sweep clean constituencies in its strongholds. If you look at MCP, it has re-energised and will take more seats in the Central Region.”
When asked to comment on why Banda failed to perform well in her home district of Zomba, Chinsinga said that was one of the surprises.
UDF presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi said yesterday the results being announced by the various radio stations from polling stations do not reflect the reality on the ground.
Said Atupele: “[UDF] shall wait for official results from MEC. The results do not tally with what is on the ground. First of all, it is surprising that results are being announced when voting has not been completed. It is unjust as it is influencing the remaining voters.
“Again, this election has been chaotic. We have no idea about what exactly is happening. Management of the whole process has also been chaotic.”
PP acting secretary general Paul Mauldi claimed “massive rigging” of the polls marred by so many irregularities.
He, too, wondered why MEC has not started releasing official results. He was quick though to note that in cases of extensions, results should be delayed.
“In a normal election, polls are opened at 6am and closed at 6pm. If there are any extensions, you begin announcing after all polling stations close. The law is very clear. We have never had elections such as this one in the history of this country,” said Maulidi.
MCP spokesperson Dr. Jessie Kabwila said while the election was going on very well, her party does not believe DPP is leading in the absence of official results.
She said: “Our tally centre shows we are in the lead. To assume DPP is in the lead is like saying Malawians have a short memory to forget what the previous DPP regime did to them. They cannot forget the ‘executive arrogance’ it experienced under the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
“We have a list of our complaints pertaining to the elections, but we are happy it went ahead. The biggest lesson has been to wait for every voting before announcing results.”
DPP president Peter Mutharika was reportedly in a meeting when contacted for comment.