The Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) has said it has completed setting up its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) data centre at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre in readiness for the May 21 tripartite elections.
Mesn chairperson Steve Duwa said this yesterday in Blantyre during a press briefing on the country’s state of preparedness for Tuesday’s polls.
Duwa observed that PVT is a proven methodology that allows non-partisan citizen observers to systematically assess the quality of voting and counting processes, accurately projecting voting outcomes and verifying official election results.
He said the PVT, which will mainly focus on the outcome of the presidential results and validate if the elections will be free and fair, is the most sophisticated citizen observation methodology.
Said Duwa: “It employs statistics and information and communication technologies (ICTs) to prove the most accurate and timely information on the conduct of voting and counting and to help ensure that the official presidential results as announced by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) accurately reflect the ballots cast by voters.
“It provides the most accurate and timely information on the conduct of voting and counting because reports are collected from a scientific sample of polling stations and streams. Reports are transmitted in near real time via coded SMSs using mobile phones”.
He said PVT has been used around the world and across Africa, including Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe to promote election credibility.
To make the PVT data centre effective, Mesn will deploy 1 400 volunteers to observe the election across the country. A total of 907 PVT observers will observe at polling stations and streams while 61 will serve as district supervisors and will be mobile.
Mesn deputy chairperson Emma Kaliya underscored that while independently verifying the accuracy of the presidential results as announced by MEC, Mesn will not announce the results or declare a winner of the election. Mesn has since asked MEC to be transparent and consultative before, during and after the elections.
The network further asks all candidates, parties and their supporters to be peaceful and patient on the election day and during the post-election period.