The Civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) are defiant following President Peter Mutharika claims that they want to turn the country into a “lawless society”, vowing to go back to the streets to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other commissioners to resign.
A new round of protests was scheduled to resume on Monday but organisers said they are doing postmortem of last week’s protests in the wake of violence and looting that took place.
“We will be on the streets exercising our rights peacefully,” said HRCD in a statement on Sunday.
“We will not abrogate our ultimate citizens rights to assemble and to protest because of the cynical and nefarious actions of a tiny few. We will not be cowered into accepting an incompetent (electoral commission),” they said.
On Saturday Mutharika told events to mark the country’s 55th anniversary of independence that the violence linked to the protests was “calculated to turn Malawi into a lawless state”.
“They want to create lawlessness so that they can take over this government. But they will only take this government over my dead body,” he said.
But HRDC has rejected allegations of trying to topple the government.
Opposition leaders say the result of the May poll was rigged, and they are demanding that election organisers be sacked.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who is the country’s immediate past vice-president, is backing the demonstrations and taking part to press for the immediate resignation of Ansah for allegedly failing the nation.
Chilima, who finished third with slightly over one million votes, said his party has gathered evidence of misconduct by the head of the electoral body.
.Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which is also challenging the May 21 Tripartite Elections results in court, has supported the HRDC position.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :