Friday, July 12, 2024

Malawi 2025 elections to be Manual for Credibility Not Electronic

Malawi lags behind technologically advanced nations like the United States in electoral practices. Due to widespread distrust of technology among Malawians, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has announced its decision against implementing electronic result transmission methods in the upcoming September 2025 Tripartite Elections.

Responding to inquiries at a public lecture in Mzuzu on Friday, MEC Chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale affirmed that the commission will adhere to manual result transmission processes, citing their established transparency.

“We are using the manual [system] and there are security features. We are developing manuals which will be shared with all stakeholders as to the results management processes.

“From when the polling crosses to how you proceed to count the votes, to how you record the results to who is supposed to sign off on the results to who is supposed to take the results form together with the ballots and what is supposed to be in that. Those things we are doing very openly and we will share that information,” Kachale said.

He added that from the polling station, the results will go to the Constituency Tally Centre, where there will be an articulate process as well after which it goes to the National Tally Centre for another articulate process.

“Our belief is that the more open and transparent the system is, the less the opportunity for abuse. So, the openness is part of the process. Create a process that ensures that everybody can see and know what you are doing and why you are doing it,” Kachale said.

Malawi Congress Party spokesperson Ezekiel Ching’oma yesterday said the party would support Mec in implementing strategies for credible and acceptable elections for all stakeholders.

“Manual tabulation of results has proved to be reliable, as demonstrated in the 2020 fresh elections.

“As a ruling party, we fully agree that this promotes transparency and we support the idea of manual tabulation,” Ching’oma said.

On his part, Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said his party is seeking expert opinion on the matter.

“The issue of manual transmission of results is a critical electoral matter which needs all serious attention,” Namalomba said.

UTM spokesperson Felix Njawala said as long as the process will be transparent and not subject to abuse, the party is in support of it.


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