Malawians are bracing for fresh unrest as opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party alliance and its partners have declared Friday 27th March 2020 as a ‘day of rage’ to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other commissioners resign.
Opposition accuse Ansah and MEC of presiding over a fraudulent poll in a new bid to force the panel’s chief to quit after the Constitutional court overturned last May’s presidential elections.
Ansah has defiantly said the current electoral commission will manage the Constitutional Court ordered fresh elections slated for July 2.
Addressing a joint news conference in Lilongwe, UTM spokesman Jospeh Chidanti Malunga said the opposition block has christened March 27 2020 as “day of rage”, asking people not to go to work to show that they don’t want Ansah to run the elections.
“ Since we cannot hold street protests due to the threat of the Covid-19 virus, we are calling on all our supporters to stay away from work on Friday.
“Just for one day, we must remind Prof Mutharika and JusticeAnsah that we are tired of them taking us for granted. They do not have power. Power is with the people of Malawi. And the people of Malawi want Electoral Commissioners they can trust,” said Malunga reading a prepared statement.
He said said opposition have also asked their lawyers to go to court on the matter.
“We have instructed our lawyers to commence a constitutional challenge to the continued presence of Justice Ansah and the current Commissioners in the Commission. We shall be asking the Constitutional Court to determine whether it is lawful for Justice Ansah to continue holding her position when the Court and Parliament have clearly stated that she is incompetent,” said Malunga.
He said the judgement was very clear that the Commission mismanaged the 2019 tripartite elections.
“The court ruled that Parliament should Institute an inquiry to look into their competence and the inquiry recommended to President Peter Mutharika to fire them.”
He said this arrogance by the executive is very retrogressive.
Malunga said it has proven that the current MEC commissioners have no mandate to administer the elections.
MCP deputy spokesman Ezekiel Chin’goma said it was time to throw off the yoke of bondage of Ansah in subverting the will of the people.
“We remain in the trenches and will continue to fight to force the current MEC out and have competent people manage the elections,” he said.
Ching’oma said MCP, UTM and its slliance partners will still participate in the elections.
Apart from Ansah, other Mec commissioners are Linda Kunje, Mary Nkosi, Jean Mathanga, Moffat Banda, Yahaya M’madi, Elvey Mtafu, Kilion Mgawi and Clifford Baloyi.
The electoral commission announced Monday that fresh presidential polls will be held on July 2, the 149th day from February 3, the date on which the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 presidential elections after considering charges of irregularities.
Voter registration for the polls will begin on April 4 and run until June 7 in four phases, Ansah told reporters.
The nomination of candidates for the presidential polls will take place April 23-24 in the southern city of Blantyre, she added.
In a landmark ruling, Judge Healey Potani, chairman of the five-judge panel hearing the case, announced on Feb. 3 that “the presidential results announced on May 27, 2019 are null and void. Fresh elections should be held within 150 days.”
The protests over the polls’ results on many occasions turned violent with looting, damage to property and injuries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :