Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it will need K1. 7 billion (about $4m) to recount votes following the commissioners’ decision to verify the votes at the discovery of irregularities that marred the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
MEC said it will be extending the begging bowl to government to finance the exercise.
MEC chief elections officer Willie Kalonga said in an interview on Monday MEC has come up with a budget that is between K1.4 billion and K1.7 billion as they are still coming up with the conclusive budget.
He said at the moment MEC has exhausted its election budget and that for the recount to take place, they will need immediate funding.
MEC resolved that ballot papers have to be recounted following irregularities noticed during the tallying of the votes at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.
MEC admitted that the May 20 elections were riddled with irregularities that it has registered over 275 complaints and have addressed 170. MEC has also identified 58 centres that number of people that voted was larger than the number of people registered.
Said Kalonga: “We are going to approach government to help us with money for the recounting. We have budgeted for the exercise at K1.7 billion. Recounting is not a cheap exercise.”
At the moment, the commission is at the court fighting injunctions and a contempt of court ruling that is hanging on the heads of commissioners.
The budget for the May 20 Tripartite Elections was K18 billion.