Malawi polls marred by 'serious irregularities' – Prez alleges

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has called for a manual audit of election results, alleging “serious irregularities”, including vote-rigging and computer-hacking.
In a statement about the elections, Mrs Banda said irregularities included:

  • The arrest of presiding officers who were “caught in the act of rigging
  • Some people voting up to three times
  • Serious anomalies” where some candidates won more votes than the number of registered voters
  • Discarded and tampered ballots
  • Communication devices of some monitors being blocked.

Mrs Banda also accused an unnamed party of hacking into the Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) counting system. However, MEC chairman Maxon Mbendera denied this, saying the system had crashed.

“Our electronic counting system has crashed, yes, and last night we migrated to our Plan B – manual counting of the results, so I wonder why the People’s Party [of Mrs Banda] is complaining since we have not announced any results yet,” Mr Mbendera said.

The incumbent is up against three main contenders, including ex-Foreign Minister Peter Mutharika, brother of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in April 2012.

Voting continues at polling centres in Blantyre and Lilongwe two days after election day, due to the late arrival of polling material.

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