Leader of United Democratic Front (UDF) in the House, Lillian Patel, has clarified that Members of Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee (PAC) only recommended to appointing authority President Peter Mutharika for the dismissal of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners—including embattled chairperson Jane Ansah and not that they fired them.
Patel, who is member of the committee, said in parliament on Wednesday.
She confirmed that the committee passed a verdict that the commissioners were incompetent for the mismanagement of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“We never fired anybody. What we did, we recommended to the appointing authority (the President] that the commissioners were incompetent,” said Patel.
PAC is expected to present in the House a report on the competency of the commission to hold elections.
At least 12 members of PAC recommended firing the commissioners, six objected to the recommendation whilst three abstained.
PAC chairman Collins Kajawa confirmed he would be presenting the report on the competency of MEC to hold elections as ordered by the Constitutional Court on February 3.
“We are required by law to present such reports to the House,” said Kajawa.
However Kajawa said it was up to the President to adopt the recommendation to fire the commissioners or not.
PAC has a membership of 21, including chairperson, and comprises six legislators from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), six independents, five from main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), two from United Democratic Front (UDF) and one each for People’s Party (PP) and UTM Party.