The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has lashed out at President Peter Mutharika for his remarks that he will not remove Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and for condemning the protests the grouping has been carrying as violent.
Mutharika speaking on BBC’s Newsday Programme on Monday said HRDC with support of opposition parties, refused to accept results of the May 21 elections and went to court to challenge the results yet at the same time demanding the resignation of Ansah through demonstration.
“They are demanding her [Ansah] resignation and at the same time they are in court. So that is where the problem is,” said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said the May election was “fair and credible”, saying even the American government said his re-election was through successful polls.
HRDC has been leading nationwide demonstrations to force Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over a flawed May 21 presidential election, which was marred by use of correction fluid Tippex to alter figures on result sheets.
Reacting to Mutharika’s BBC remarks, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the President is out of sync with reality.
“He is detached from reality. It shows Mutharika has no idea what’s really happening in the country and how Malawians feel,” said Mtambo.
Mtambo said HRDC will not relent with the protests until Ansah leaves MEC.
HRDC, which has been holding demonstrations since the announcement of the May 21 presidential election results, wants Ansah to resign to pave the way for investigations into identifying and prosecuting those who supplied Tippex that was used to alter elections figures on result sheets.
The demonstrations have in some cases been marred by looting and violence.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, has dismissed calls for her to resign, saying she would only step down if the court found her leadership to have failed to discharge its duties.
MEC declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winner of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections with 1 940 709 votes, representing 38.57 percent.
He was trailed by MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera who came second with 1 781 740 votes, representing 35.41 percent while his UTM Party counterpart Saulos Chilima came a distant third with 1 018 369 votes ,representing 20.24 percent, ahead of four other aspirants.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the presidential election results. They cite alleged flaws in the results management process as a key factor for their case.
The hearing is set to continue on September 3 after a week-long break following an 11-day initial process in which Chilima and one witness Mirriam Gwalidi took to the witness stand.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :