Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) commissioner responsible for electoral services Jean Mathanga has defiantly said she will not resign for her role in mismanaging the 2019 Tripartite Elections after Parliament, the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal found the commissioners incompetent and their positions untenable.
At a news conference held on Tuesday in Lilongwe which she chaired, Mathanga was asked by a journalist if he will heed calls to resign.
In her response, Mathanga, a close ally of MEC embattled chairperson Jane Ansah, rejected any calls for her to resign
“I am not resigning,” said Mathanga emphatically in a televised news conference.
“I will continue discharging my duties to the end of my contract which is June 5 2020,” she added.
She also insisted that the 2019 elections were not rigged and therefore any verdict that commissioners are incompetent is faulty.
“I am not incompetent,” she stressed visibly looking that she is leading normal life.
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.
Other commissioners, the Reverent Clifford Baloyi, the Reverend Killion Mgawi, Elvey Mtafu, Moffat Banda, Yahaya M’madi, Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga. Have also refused to resign for their role in presiding over a flawed electoral process.
However, Commissioner Mary Nkosi has proceeded to leave pending expiry of her tenure next month.
On April 1 2020 MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika told Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee that the commission wrote President Peter Mutharika to consider hiring new commissioners as the current ones’ tenure is expiring on June 5.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, who is on record as having indicated that she would step down if the Supreme Court upheld the findings of the Constitutional Court, is also clinging to her MEC post. But her term expires in October.
According to the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Act 2017, the President shall, subject to Section 75 of the Constitution, appoint suitably qualified persons to be commissioners on such terms and conditions as the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament shall determineFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :