Mesn parallel tally verifies MEC results

Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) yesterday evening released its presidential results for the May 21 Tripartite Elections, verifying Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) figures released the same evening.

Mesn, which has been running a parallel vote tabulation (PVT) centre in Blantyre,  announced, in a statement, incumbent President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as winner with between 36.4 and 40.8 percent of the votes, while Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) scored between 32.8 and 37.4 percent of the votes and UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima got between 18.8 and 21.4 percent.

The umbrella body of 27 non-governmental and faith-based organisations also stated that Professor John Eugene Chisi (UP) won between 0.3 and 0.5 percent; Revelend Hadwick Kaliya (independent) got between 0.2 and 0.4 percent; Peter Dominic Sinosi Driver Kuwani (MMD) got between 0.3and 0.5 percent, while Atupele Austin Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) got between 4.3 and 5.7 percent.

Mesn PVT results have essentially corroborated MEC results, announced around 6pm yesterday by the commission’s chairperson Jane Ansah.

 Mesn further highlighted that its PVT observers specifically collected data on the participation of party representatives in the counting process at polling streams and polling stations.

Mesn chairperson Steve Duwa

Reads the statement in part: “In particular, PVT observers reported that there were party representatives for Chakwera/MCP at 96 percent and for Mutharika/DPP at 99 percent of sampled polling streams for the counting of presidential results.

 “At 96 percent of sampled polling streams with a Chakwera/MCP party representative, the person agreed with the official polling stream presidential results while at 95 percent of polling streams with a Mutharika/DPP party representative, the person agreed with the official polling stream presidential results.”

 It also indicated that at 96 percent of sampled polling stations, an MCP party representative signed the official presidential results form while at 99 percent of sampled polling stations a DPP party representative signed official presidential results form.

 The PVT estimated voter turnout at between 74.9 and 76.1 percent.

 The organisation further observed that there was a clear improvement in logistics from 2014 and as a result, polling streams largely opened on time in contrast to 2014.

 It further observed that voting was largely conducted in accordance with MEC procedures as in 2014 and that insufficient logistical preparations and lack of clarity on the procedures and training resulted in significant delays in the start of counting and the time required for counting.

“However, the counting was conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner and such issues did not appear to undermine the credibility of the counting process. Once counting was completed for polling streams, the announcement of presidential results for entire polling stations was transparent and inclusive,” the statement read.

 In its preliminary report, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) to Malawi described the elections as well-managed, inclusive, transparent and competitive.

 However, EU-EOM chief observer Miroslav Poche said the campaign period was marked by tensions and an uneven playing field.

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