Malawi’s Electoral Commission chairperson, Jane Ansah, says vote-counting is making a slow but steady progress after Tuesday’s, 21 May 2019, tripartite elections.
Briefing journalists, local and international election observers that included former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa at COMESA Hall, Ansah said that as of Wednesday morning, 22 May 2019, her officials had counted 20 percent of the vote.
“The first results were received shortly after midnight. What is slowing the process is the balancing of the manual counting between the figures and the paper trail left behind,” the chairperson said.
While figures were not as hard to count, the MEC officials were also required to make sure that invalid ballots, the used and unused ballots tallied with the ballots cast by the voters and this was time consuming, she explained.
Slightly over 6.8 million registered voters were expected to have cast their votes on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, for presidential, parliamentary and local government candidates.
Among the presidential hopefuls are incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party, his Vice President Saulos of the United Transformation Movement, opposition Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and the United Democratic Front’s Atupele Muluzi — plus three other candidates whose marginal followers have little chance of ever pushing them to the high office in this campaign.
According to the country’s election law, MEC has eight days to produce the final results of the polls.