Full statement by President Joyce Banda alleging that Elections have been rigged
I wish to thank you all for the peaceful voting that has taken place generally throughout the country. I note with regret that there were some exceptions in some areas where we witnessed some serious disruption of the polling process and in other cases the non-delivery of polling materials necessitating that polling in some centers had to take place on the Wednesday the 21st.
My Government and I are committed to ensuring a free, fair, peaceful and credible election. Throughout my tenure of office I have demonstrated the need for an open, inclusive and participatory process of governance. Hence, the witnessing of the levelling of the political playing field, opening up of the airwaves and guaranteeing the freedoms and liberties as provided for in the Constitution and according to law.
However, I am greatly concerned with the emerging picture witnessed after the polling day whereby we have seen gross and unwarranted allegations of rigging, misinformation and negative propaganda all aimed at undermining the credibility of the electoral process. I am further concerned to learn that the information system that the Malawi Electoral Commission intended to use for the management of the results of the poll had crashed rendering the Electoral Commission unable to deliver the poll results on time.
It has come to my attention that there some serious irregularities in the counting and announcement of results in some parts of the country and the People’s Party has presented specific details of these irregularities to the Malawi Electoral Commission. These irregularities include but not limited to:
1. Non availability and non inspection of the voter register at some polling centres, thereby resulting into some people voting twice or three times.
2. Serious anomalies where some candidates were winning by voters whose numbers exceeded the total number of the registered voters at the centres.
3. Using information technology to block communication devices of some monitors, and thereby limiting the monitors’ ability to effectively carry out their duties.
4. Compromised votes.
5. Discarded ballots and tampered ballots.
6. Arrests some of the presiding officers.
I am also informed that notwithstanding the fact that the electoral information system had broken down entailing that there was no official platform for the announcement of results, the media continued to announce some results. This could have tantamounted to misinforming the general public on the true reflection of the poll results obtaining on the ground and thereby creating a false impression of the possible winners of the polls. I am also aware of the concerns that the continued announcements of poll results from the votes cast on 20th May, could have influenced the voting that took place on the 21st.
In light of these concerns and concerns emerging from other stakeholders which includes other political parties, I call upon the Malawi Electoral Commission to carry out an immediate manual audit of the whole process. I further wish to urge Malawi Electoral Commission to ensure that it only allows the accredited media houses to announce only those results that are verified and are coming from MEC’s official platform.
I appeal to all Malawians to continue with their commitment to peaceful co-existence and to remain calm until the Malawi Electoral Commission determines the outcome of the poll results.
May God bless our country.
I thank you for your attention.