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Chilima calls for new Malawai Electoral Commission: Ansah, others should be shoveled into hall of shame

UTM Party president and  Vice President of Malawi, Saulos Chilima, has demanded that all commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) must resign and never be allowed to work in government because they are failures and incompetent.

Wednesday at a news conference in Lilongwe two days after  the Coonstitution Court (ConCourt) granted him and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) counterpart Lazarus  Chakwera victory in a case where the two challenged MEC declaration of President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as winner of the race.

ConCourt ruling established wrong doing in the management of the May 21 presidential elections.

Chilima said  there should be  an immediate resignation or dismissal of the current electoral commission and that the officials should not be re assigned anywhere.

“We demand here and today that they, together with Chief Elections Officer and all key senior management, should immediately resign and vacate their offices. They deserve no single day, hour or minute in any public office in this land,” said Chilima, who was the first petitioner in the case.

Chilima reminded Malawians key findings on grey areas pointed by the ConCourt.

“The plethora of irregularities included use of duplicate tally sheets; use of ‘tippexed’ and altered tally  sheets; use of fake or insecure tally sheets; failure to account for null and void votes; premature announcement  of results without attending to complaints and gathering all results; tampering during recording, counting and transmission of results; and unlawful delegation by the Commissioners of their solemn constitutional duties,”  he noted. He said it is sad that when they raised these issues, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah  her fellow Commissioners dismissed them with a nonchalant wave of the hand.“They did this knowing very well that they were part of a criminal and evil scheme to rob Malawians of their voice in who they had chosen to govern them,” he said.

Meanwhile, governance and political commentators have  with a call to fire commissioners and the management of MEC calling for serious policy reforms for  the electoral body.Political scientist Blessings Chinsinga said  Ansah and other commissioners “do not have any iota of credibility and there should never be anywhere near Malawi electoral processes. They have let the nation down and they deserve to be shoveled into the hall of shame.” Governance expert Makhumbo Munthali said there is need for serious policy reforms at MEC especially in the appointment of commissioners, as advised by the ConCourt.

On his part, University of Livingstonia-based political analyst George Phiri said the protests against MEC  last year were proof that Malawians have lost trust in the electoral body.Law Professor, Garton Kamchedzera, said Parliament should also change concentration of power in the presidency in the appointment of commissioners in line with the court order.He said public officers who played a hand in messing up the elections must all be held accountable and that all commissioners and management of the electoral commission must be dismissed on grounds of incompetence.

Meanwhile, MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the body will continue striving to deliver credible elections and that the body will take advantage of any upcoming electoral activity to “reshape the perceptions and views the public.”

Source: Nyasa Times

*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

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