Embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah says Sadc electoral commissions must strive to hold credible polls for continued peace.
Ansah said this today in Blantyre when she opened a week-long conference for officials from the Sadc electoral commissions.
She however, just like the minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka, said nothing on the highly disputed May 21 presidential polls which the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM say the results were manipulated in favour of president Peter Mutharika.
“Election management bodies are key for the sustenance of peace,” said Ansah without referring to the wave of protests dubbed anti-Jane Ansah protests organised by the Malawi Human Rights Defenders to force her out of office following the rigging and vote manipulation allegations during the elections.
Ansah looked calm and composed as she read her speech in her capacity as chairperson of Electoral Commissions Forum for Sadc countries.
Opening the conference, Malawi Vice President Everton Chimulirenji asked poll officers in the region to continuously strive to improve the election management practices in order for the people to enjoy genuine democracy.
“In my wanderings across the globe, I have never encountered a democracy that is not in need of reforms. Everywhere on the globe, citizens in all nations, are striving in one form or another, and to one degree or the other, bringing in changes and improvements in the way they govern themselves.
“ It would be a colony of the dead where the inhabitants no longer strive for better ways of managing themselves. Therefore, the citizens of SADC deserve well-
administered elections at all times,” Chimulirenji said, reading from a prepared speech.
Chimulirenji said management of elections is a very crucial element for the sustainability of the democratic gains made over the years in the SADC region.
He however said it is not the responsibility of Electoral Management Body alone to ensure that elections are conducted in a credible manner but all stakeholders.
“All what the Electoral Commission does is to lead, direct and ensure that all players are served at the same time ensuring that rules of the game are followed. There are political parties, candidates, Civil Society Organisations, Governments, Development Partners, voters, among many who have a stake in elections.
“ These stakeholders should all strive to play their respective roles meaningfully in order to sustain the gains of democracy made over the years and avoid throwing back a nation to a worse situation than it was before democratisation,” he said.
There was a heavy presence of security at Mount Soche Hotel at the venue of the conference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :