Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep) has advised local and international observers to refrain from dragging Malawians into accepting that the tripartite elections have been free, credible and fair as has been observed when the reality on the ground clearly shows a different picture.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the two human rights bodies say it is unacceptable to call an election with “massive irregularities” to have been free, fair and credible “when even the electoral body acknowledges such disparities prompting it to call for a fresh physical voting audit.”
The two organisations say “we should not just be desperate to know the outcome of these elections but also to know the quality of such outcome.”
CHRR and CEDEP say they are keenly following events surrounding the May 20 Tripartite Elections with the latest being some parties, through the courts, challenging MEC’s decision to recount votes but urged Malawi Electoral Commission to proceed with physical vote audit towards a legitimate government.
The two say that amid calls from various organisations and individuals on the way forward regarding the electoral process, “the onus still lies squarely on MEC to execute an electoral job that will satisfy all stakeholders”.
The statement says it is on record that even MEC has admitted to some of the hiccups dogging the vote counting stage of the elections, prompting some quarters, including the State President Joyce Banda, to call for nullification of the process.
“While these calls by some concerned parties run the risk of being seen as last kicks of a dying horse, CHRR and Cedep call upon MEC to remain steadfast,” reads part of the statement co-signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, executive directors for CHRR and Cedep respectively.
The statement also notes that while the independence of the Judiciary should be respected, its interference in the verdict of MEC has not addressed the problem at hand, but rather exposed the inconsistencies of the country’s Judiciary system.
“We at CHRR and Cedep feel this is not only confusing but suicidal towards the promotion and protection of good governance and rule of law,” reads the statement.
The statement says Malawians will remain calm but we will “surely not accept any outcome short of fairness, justice and credibility.”