Malawi vote counting system collapses

2014-05-22 09:53
Polling centre staff explain to an old woman how to vote for a candidate of her choice during Malawi's Tripartite elections at Malemia School Polling Centre, at Mtogolo Village. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

Polling centre staff explain to an old woman how to vote for a candidate of her choice during Malawi's Tripartite elections at Malemia School Polling Centre, at Mtogolo Village. (Amos Gumulira, AFP)

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Malawi elections trending in SA today

2014-05-20 14:40

Malawians voted today, and the elections got off to a rough start. Watch to find out why.WATCH

Blantyre - Malawi election officials have had to resort to fax and email to tally votes from this week's election after the electronic system broke down, delaying the release of any results, the chief elections officer said on Thursday.

The system "is refusing to take the information from the ground where our data clerks are stationed to send the results", chief elections officer Willie Kalonga told AFP two days after the vote.

As a "back-up solution", officials in the southern African country's 28 districts were sending the results manually via fax and email to the national elections centre in Blantyre.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has not yet released any preliminary results after Tuesday's tight-run polls, which pit incumbent Joyce Banda against her rival and predecessor's brother Peter Mutharika.

The military was deployed to restore calm after irate voters set alight voting stations when election materials were unavailable and some bureaus opened 10 hours late.

Voting spilled into an unscheduled second day on Wednesday at 13 voting stations, and thousands queued to cast their ballot.

Around 7.5 million people were eligible to vote in the fifth democratic elections since the end of dictatorship 20 years ago.

The MEC will only announce results when 30% of the votes have been counted, and is currently "not anywhere in the neighbourhood" of that figure, MEC chairman Maxon Mbendera said on Wednesday.
Read more on:    malawi  |  southern africa  |  malawi elections 2014

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