Public Appointments Committee(PAC) of Parliament has wrapped up enquiring on Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners competence, with Commissioner Clifford Baloyi insisting use of correctional fluid, tippex, did not affect the vote outcome.
Commissioner Baloyi was the 9th Commissioner to appear before the Parliamentary Committee mandated by the Constitutional Court to enquire into their competency during the 21 May Presidential elections.
Only Commissioner Killion M’gawi was exempted from appearing before the Parliamentary Committee owing to bad health.
The vote outcome was nullified by the Constitutional Court on 3 February 2020 on grounds that polls were mismanaged and had irregularities.
Appearing before the committee, Baloyi said acknowledged that MEC did not supply tippex.
He said Commissioners discovered that presiding officers had used the liquid to correct mathematical errors.
He said cross checking on the numbers did not raise any alarm.
“We we under the impression that also told it was in order to correct mistakes as long as the results came out right,” said Baloyi.
“If the mistakes were left like that without correcting them, the results would have come out wrong and chaotic,” he added.
He also testified that no result sheet was left unverified by the Commission.
“All the 5002 result sheets were verified. I personally took part in verifying all the sheets,” he told the inquiry.
On the 147 complaints, he said they constituted a legal taskforce that was tasked with the responsibility to scrutinise the complaints.
He, however, said no Commissioner was in the committee.
Baloyi further told the Committee that the Presidential results were correct, and that the court nullified the presidential elections based on insufficient evidence presented before it on the part of MEC.
Speaking to the press, Baloyi admitted that the commission did somethings wrong but said they are not incompetent because an election always has irregularities.
“I cannot resign because of what the presiding officers did and the insignificant irregularities. I and fellow Commissioners did a very good job,” Baloyi said.
PAC Chairperson Collins Kajawa said the Committee will now start making a determination on the conduct of the MEC Commissioners.
“The enquiry has given the Commissioners a chance to explain themselves. It has also allowed Malawians a chance to know what has been happening at the Commission. As a Committee, we now have a rational for taking decisions and have a determination, ” Kajawa added.
Public Appointments Committee(PAC) of Parliament has been enquiring on the commissioners since Monday last week.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly in Malawi, Catherine Gotani Hara, has announced that Parliament is expected to table the draft Electoral Reforms Bill Tuesday.
The move by parliament follows the ConCourt order for a review of the country’s electoral laws for the implementation of the 50%+1 electoral system.