The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has called on Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners to step down for ‘failing to manage’ the May 20 Tripartite Elections.
The call was made by the party’s Publicity Secretary Dr. Jessie Kabwila and echoed by Director of elections Joseph Njobvuyalema during a news conference on Wednesday at MCP headquarters in Lilongwe.
“When you have a body that is failing to oversee a process of electing the head of state then we have a problem. They don’t understand what is happening and continuing with mediocrity, massive irregularity and continue calling abnormal things normal,” she said.
She cited, among other things, calling normal fire that blazed ballot boxes at MEC warehouse in Lilongwe.
On his part, Njobvuyalema said MEC’s insistence that their hands are tired because the issue is in court was uncalled for.
“We all know that the issue of ballot papers being destroyed is not in court. So if they say that their hands are tied, though there is no rope then they have to go,” he said.
Added Kabwila, “If they don’t know what tied hands looks like then one day we will show them. We will also have ours tied and fail to control our supporters.”
In May, High Court overruled an attempt by former President Joyce Banda to annul the presidential vote, which she said was marred by rigging.
Peter Mutharika, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was declared the winner, taking 36.4% of the presidential vote.
International election observers declared the polls to be generally free and fair despite the commission admitting there had been a number of serious irregularities and asked for a 30-day extension to declare the results so that a recount could be carried out.
But following a DPP petition, the High Court refused to allow a delay.
MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, who came second in the presidential poll with 27.8% of the vote, was also seeking a recount through the courts and his party still maintains MCP election victory was stolen by DPP.