Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Maxon Mbendera says he and other commissioners are ready to resign should people insist and that the electoral body has nothing to apologise for anything it did during and after the electoral process that ushered President Peter Mutharika to power.
The MEC commissioners have long been under intense pressure from opposition political parties and civil society organizations to resign following the manner it conducted the chaotic May 20 elections which was marred with massive irregularities.
The recent pressure came following the gutting down of its warehouse in the capital Lilongwe where the ballots boxes were kept.
The fire came ahead of the vote recount in the disputed parliamentary elections in which the opposition Malawi Congress Party candidate Ulemu Msungama was challenging the results which went in favour of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate.
MEC had said earlier in a media statement that the Commission suspects arson in the fire incident and has asked the police to probe into the issue.
However, Mbendera told the privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station through Tiuzeni Zoona program aired Sunday that the commission officials are ready step aside should people press them to do so.
“We are ready to resign, what people should know is that this is the MEC which opened up MBC to all political parties. This is the MEC which had been transparent throughout the electoral process. This is the MEC which had been updating Malawians on any issue during the electoral process,” Mbendera said.
He also reminded Malawians that the commissioners are not sacked anyhow saying “there are ways of removing the commissioners.”
Mbendera said it is unfair to blame the Commission for the transportation problems during the elections, saying the commission does not handle cash.
“We had been relying on transportation from government. It was the one handling all the money issues.”
Mbendera admitted that the Commission is utterly disturbed with the fire incident but assured Malawians not lose heart as there are other ways of handling the voter dispute issue.
“We have other ways how we can address the issues of the disputed election but I can not disclose them on the radio because there are so many groups with special interest in the issue. But I can assure you that the issue will be addressed despite the gutting down of the voting materials,” said Mbendera.