Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) says it will proceed to hold nationwide demonstrations on May 28 to force all commissioners at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to resign including Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika.
HRDC national chairperson Gift Trapence said the resignation of embattled MEC)chairperson Jane Ansah is a victory for Malawians who have been pushing for her removal.
However, Trapence said their planned demonstrations on May 28 remain intact, until all commissioners resign.
“What Ansah has done is what Malawians have been looking for, but that is not an end in itself. We want all other commissioners to resign.
“Further, new commissioners should be appointed quickly to manage the elections within the specified period as determined by the courts. If this does not happen, we will proceed with our protests on May 28,” he warned.
Speaking while addressing the media in Mzuzu on Friday, executive director for the Church and Society Program of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, Moses Mkandawire, said the current commissioners do not have the legal mandate to manage an election.
“We expect all commissioners to resign. They have already been proven as incompetent by the courts and Parliament. It will be unfortunate if they cling on to the positions.
“It will be honourable enough for them to follow what Ansah has done. The head is gone, why should they cling on? Whose interest will they serve because the majority of Malawians have lost trust in them?,” said Mkandawire.
Commenting on the resignation of Ansah, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera said it signifies that there has to be a new commission to work towards the fresh presidential election.
Chakwera said the country now needs a commission that will serve Malawians with diligence and professionally.
‘”We look forward to the new commission. We believe that those, who according to the law, have the responsibility, will follow the law. Let’s put in place new commission that will work professionally, a commission that serve Malawians without looking upon their personal interest,” he said.
In its judgement on February 3, the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as a Constitutional Court nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election over alleged irregularities and tasked Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee to assess the competence of MEC commissioners.
The committee recommended that the commissioners be fired and a new team appointed. However, President Peter Mutharika ignored the recommendations.
But in its May 8 judgement, a seven-judge panel of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, while upholding the nullification of the election, also queried the competence of MEC commissioners.
MEC commissioner Jean Mathanga, Masten Banda and Linda Kunje are on record challenging that they will not resign until their contracts ends on June 5.
In any other way, resignng or not, Malawi will have a new commission by June 5.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :