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HRDC in operation ‘Mec shutdown’ demos

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Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said it will organise a countrywide demonstration, dubbed Operation Mec shutdown, to push for Malawi Electoral Commission commissioners’ resignation.

HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, who was speaking during a press briefing in Lilongwe Monday, said Malawians will lock down Mec offices to force its chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, commissioners and senior management to step down.

Flanked by his deputy Gift Trapence and member Cossam Muthali, Mtambo said the Constitution Court judgment calling for fresh presidential election is a clear indication that the current Mec is not trustworthy.

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The court annulled the presidential election results that declared Peter Mutharika the winner and ordered that fresh election be conducted within 150 days with effect from the day of the judgement.

Mtambo said he was wondering why Ansah is not stepping down though she promised to do so after the court ruling.

“Mec is rotten because of the leadership of its chairperson and commissioners. We promised Malawians that we would not stop the demonstrations until she [Ansah] steps down. On Thursday, we are going to lock their [Mec] offices,” Mtambo said.

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Mtambo said if Mec commissioners do not step down by Thursday, HRDC will continue holding vigils in their respective offices.

“We want the new commissioners to start planning for the fresh election called by the judges. The current commissioners messed up the election worth billions of kwacha and yet they have the audacity to claim that they are innocent. That is taking Malawians for granted,” Mtambo said.

He has since asked the people of Balaka North Constituency Liwawadzi Ward not to allow Mec to hold the by-election next month.

Luwawadzi Ward fell vacant following the death of Democratic Progressive Party councillor, Thomson Thomas Bwanali, in October last year.

Currently, Mec commissioners are appearing before Public Appointments Committee of Parliament as directed by the court judges to scrutinise their competence to handle fresh presidential election.

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