Malawian President, Joyce Banda, said on Thursday that the elections were rigged, as counting of votes in the May 20, 2014 Malawi elections continues.
She said in Lilonggwe that the electoral officials must go for manual counting of the votes. Banda also called for full auditing of the whole process. Information revealed that local radio stations have been releasing unofficial results that opposition candidate, Peter Muntharika, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was leading by a wide margin.
Meanwhile, African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission to the elections in Malawi on Thursday urged stakeholders in the African nation to maintain peace and remain calm as they await official results of the tripartite elections. They said this has become imperative and contrary to the release of unofficial results by some local radio stations. AU said the Malawi Election Commission (MEC), a body mandated to conduct elections in the country, has not started releasing official results of the elections.
AU challenged all citizens to continue in the peaceful and orderly manner that characterised the pre-election period, urging all parties that would be aggrieved by the final outcome of the elections to seek redress instead of promoting anarchy. The AU team, which has described the elections as transparent and in accordance with the country’s legal framework and international standards, said the elections provided an opportunity for Malawians to choose their leaders. “The AU mission notes from its observations that voters turned out in impressive numbers even before the stipulated time. “The environment was largely peaceful, and the election was conducted in compliance with procedures stipulated in the legal framework.
The voting procedures were simple and easily understood by voters.” The country’s electoral body has since said that final results may be delayed, as fax machines are being used to transmit the results at the tallying centre instead of the electronic system. Willie Kalonga, the MEC chief elections officer, refuted claims that the commission was “playing games” and promised that the official announcement of results will commence on Thursday. He acknowledging that the law gives the commission eight days to announce the results.