Malawi electoral chief Ansah says court to decide on her resignation

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CHAIRPERSON of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Jane Ansah said Monday that she would resign only if the country’s constitutional court orders that the electoral process had irregularities.

In an interview with a local TV and radio, Ansah responded to calls from the country’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and opposition leaders who were demanding her resignation on claims that the May 21 presidential elections were fraudulently managed.

The HRDC on Thursday organised mass protests in the country’s four cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba where scenes of violence were reported.

But Ansah said in the interview that those calling for her resignation need to operate within the confinement of the law, and that organising mass demonstrations in the streets calling for her resignation was mob justice and taking the law into their own hands.

‘Human rights are constitutional and they should be enjoyed within the law. What the HRDC are doing is taking matters in their own hands,’ she said. ‘The matter is in court and I will wait to listen and follow what the judges will say.’

The MEC chair further disputed claims that the country’s elections, which saw the incumbent President Peter Mutharika being re-elected, were fraudulent and rigged.

She said the whole electoral process involved consultations with observers from all the participating parties, leaving no room for rigging.

‘To us, the process was tight because we did not leave any stakeholder aside, and we had auditors who were there to verify that the figures we released were the right figures,’ said Ansah.

The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) led by Lazarus Chakwera and United Transformation Movement (UTM) led by the country’s former Vice President Saulos Chilima have been challenging the election results and calling for a re-run.

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