Malawi elections 2019: Rigging allegations mar peaceful elections

Report by Managing Editor Elias Mambo in Blantyre, Malawi

The tripartite elections being held here were peaceful but tainted by allegations of rigging by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and  the world was watching closely resulting in a lot of backlash .

Reports of dubious tactics to turn the   election results in DPP’s favour emerged including scenarios where results sheets were amended with Tippex (a correction fluid) and ballot box stuffing in favour of the incumbent Peter Mutharika, the Zim Morning Post has heard.

The election which is becoming a two-horse-race between Mutharika and the revived Malawi Congress Party (MCP) led by reverend Lazarus Chakwera has exposed the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) whose returning officers have been fingered in the rigging scam.

In Nsanje , MCP officials apprehended  Nsanje Central constituency returning officer Fred Thomas for allegedly manipulating votes. 

MCP officials called the police who eventually arrested Thomas whose results sheets were ‘tippexed’ with other results entered in blue ink instead of the official blank ink left MCP.

In a video that went viral, the wife of MCP vice president Sadiki Mia also apprehended another MEC official who could not explain the anomalies in as far as tampering with votes is concerned.

Mia’s wife demanded MEC to explain why its officials were tampering with the people’s votes.

As of Thursday evening, presidential results were trickling in with MCP and DPP competing neck to neck.

Analysts say the 2019 tripatite elections remain unpredictable.

MCP has also taken control.of parliament as its majority parliamentary candidates sailed through by Wedneday night.

According to statistics availed ,75% of votes counted show that Mutharika is leading but 25% remaining are from the Central region which happen to be Chakwera stronghold and this will turn the votes in favour of opposition.

Besides the rigging allegations, the competing parties here have displayed fair levels of political tolerance as minimum violent incidents were reported.