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Jane Ansah adamant on resignation

Jane Ansah smiled then posed for cameras at New Parliament Building in Lilongwe yesterday and when she appeared before Public Appointments Committee (Pac), she refused to resign as Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson.

“I will not resign until the Supreme Court finds me in the wrong,” she told the Parliamentary committee.

Pac is, in respect of Constitutional Court order, testing the capacity of Mec commissioners to manage fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3 2020.

Ansah said the judgement, which the court delivered on February 3, was not final. The court nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election results.

On the use of Tipp- Ex in last year’s election, Ansah said it was used for correction and said no single result sheet was left unprocessed.

“There were no altered results [sheets], there were only corrected. The law does not address that, the law only provides that the will of the people should be respected. If you write a cheque and correct it, does it become useless?” Ansah said.

On Mec appealing the case, Ansah said such is the case because the commission disagrees with other areas of the court’s judgement.

“An appeal is not a disobedience to a court order. When you appeal it means you do not agree with other areas,” she said.

Pac Chairperson, Collins Kajawa, said they will release results of their determination within seven days.

Pac has this week also assessed commissioners Moffat Banda, Jean Mathanga, Yahaya M’madi, Mary Nkosi and Linda Kunje. Killion Mgawi and Clifford Baloyi are yet to be assessed.

Commenting on the refusal by the Mec chair to resign, Kajawa said what Ansah is doing is not paying attention to the wish of most Malawians.

“It is lack of listening and utilising advice because one would take heed of such counsel for the sake of the nation. We really need to be sensitive to the plight of the people,” he said.

In the morning when she was appearing before the committee, the Mec chair requested Pac to allow her tender evidence of some documents she had brought to the attention of the committee.

During the course of the enquiry, Ansah requested to tender the evidence; a development which Pac did not allow.

When coming out of the committee room, Ansah told journalists that she was disappointed for not being allowed to tender the evidence.

But Kajawa told reporters that Pac did not need her evidence for their enquiry.

Ansah, who came in high spirits posing for journalists to take pictures of her, left the august House disappointed.

Last year, Ansah said she would resign if the Constitutional Court ruled that Mec mismanaged May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM leader Saulos Chilima had petitioned the court with President Peter Mutharika and Mec as the respondents.

In reaction, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has since organised demonstrations aimed at shutting down Mec offices today.

HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said what Ansah has told Pac clearly shows that the Mec chairperson should not be taken by her word on resignation.

“We think Ansah is a person we can never take seriously. She has behaviour like of a chameleon. It is the same Ansah who said she will resign when the court makes its determination and now she is changing.

“It is also the same Ansah who was misleading the nation that Constitutional Court cases are not appealable and now she is in the forefront appealing the case. She has overstayed her welcome and we are going to seal Mec offices,” Mtambo said.

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