Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says its beleaguered chairperson Jane Ansah is not resigning from the pollster as demanded by UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and other quarters of the society.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said it is only the appointing authority – President Peter Mutharika – with the power to fire her.
“If it’s about removal, only the State has powers to remove her on recommendations from parliament’s Public Appointments Committee (PAC),” said Mwafulirwa.
On Friday, Chilima called on Ansah to throw in the towel because of the messy election results.
Addressing a news conference at UTM headquarters in Area 10, Lilongwe, Chilima, who is the former State vice-president, said the party has gathered evidence of misconduct by the head of the electoral body.
He said UTM will officially release contents of a letter containing the evidence if Ansah refuses to step down within five days.
“We have further gathered evidence of alleged misconduct on the part of the chairperson of the commission which shall be shared with the commission privately.
“Our position with respect to the chairperson of the commission is that, having dismally failed to lead the commission and having returned the most fraudulent elections in the history of this nation, she should do the honourable thing in the circumstances, that is, to immediately resign so that a more capable person can lead the commission,” said Chilima.
Chilima said some of the irregularities for which UTM has credible evidence include failure to collect and seal away extra ballot papers before counting and compiling results thereby making extra ballot papers available for post-polling marking and stuffing to consummate the fraudulent results records or put future verification against the ballot paper in peril.
Others include, failure to determine complaints before announcing the presidential return, refusal or failure to provide UTM and other political party representatives with results records as required by law; thereby opening the results to tampering and interference.
Chilima also said other irregularities included altering, transposing results records in favour of the candidate declared winner, serious breach of security of the results records in favour of the candidate declared winner as well as voters being allowed to cast more than one vote for the presidential election in areas where the declared winner supposedly had his main support.
He also said other irregularities were transposition of results for candidates in favour of the declared winner and intimidation of UTM monitors and agents.
“Beyond the above-mentioned evidence, we have further gathered evidence of misconduct on the part of the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] which shall be shared with the commission privately,” Chilima told the media.
He said all the evidence shall be brought before the court.
Civil society grouping, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) were first to call for resignation of Ansah last week.
“We have lost trust in her completely,” HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :