The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will extend the period of announcing the results of the presidential poll to 30 days, official said.

MEC has finished the tallying of the votes cast in the May 20 contest, but wants the formal results release delayed to resolve the outstanding issues.

President Joyce Band will, meanwhile, remain in office until a new president is sworn in.

The election has been characterised by claims of massive irregularities, that forced MEC to resort to manual tallying of the votes.

MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera, at a press conference Monday evening, announced that the commission would not release the outcome of the elections until after a recount.

“We are committed to free and fair elections. We understand that the legitimacy of the future leadership of this country depend on these elections. We will be asking the court to extend the period of announcing the results from eight days to 30 days,” he said.

Confusion has reigned in the Malawi elections results announcement as political parties discovered irregularities in 58 centres where number of people that voted were more than the number of people registered.

Political parties brought forward irregularities to the attention of the commission where MEC decided that physical recount of ballot papers must take place.

However, MEC has been facing injunctions and counter injunctions with other political parties stopping it from proceeding with the vote tallying while other political parties were vacating the injunctions to continue with the tallying.

“We have tallied about 95 per cent of the votes, but we are jot going to announce the winner until we have finalised the recounting of the ballots,” said.

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