By Loness Gwazanga and Leah Nyirenda
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Blantyre, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Chifundo Kachale says the commission has a Constitutional mandate to re-look at null and void votes from all the polling stations because they have an impact on the final results.
Speaking Friday in Blantyre at the tally centre during a media update on the status of the electoral process, Kachale urged Malawians to keep calm as the confirmation of null and void votes was being done.
Kachale said he wanted to keep records straight before announcing the winner.
“Section 97 of Elections Act gives the commission mandate to relook and determine the null and void votes,” he said, adding that the commission was trying not to do anything outside the law.
He added that the Constitutional Court emphasized on following the law, hence the commission’s wish to take that into serious consideration.
“The task of determining null and void votes is huge, as such, we cannot cut corners though we know that Malawians are eagerly waiting,” he said.
The MEC Chairperson, therefore, assured the nation MEC was trying its best to complete the task to the satisfaction of Malawians
“Forgive us if we are not working to people’s expectations but we are making everything possible to have clean results,” Kachale added.
Meanwhile, MEC has processed results of seven districts, including Mangochi, Rumphi, Neno, and Ntchisi.
Mangochi had 231,659 votes of which 5,002 were null and void. Of the remaining 231,464 votes, Dr Lazarous Chakwera of MCP got 33,293, Peter Sinosi Kuwani of MMD got 2,630 votes and Arthur Peter Mutharika of DPP got 195,531.
The district recorded 5,002 null and avoid votes of which 51 were corrected with Chakwera getting additional five, Kuwani two and Mutharika 44.
Rumphi District recorded 65,488 votes, of which 319 were null and void. MCP got 55,513 votes, MMD got 747 votes and DPP got 8,909 votes.
“Out of the nullified votes, nine were corrected and all were added to Lazarous Chakwera of MCP,” he explained.
Ntchisi had a total of 93,972 votes. MCP got 88,985 votes, MMD got 369 votes and DPP got 3740.
The district registered 880 null and void votes with 65 being corrected by the commissioners, thereby Chakwera getting extra 55, Kuwani two while Mutharika got eight