President Peter Mutharika has said it is not his job to ask Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, to resign and that he sees no reason for her to step down from her post.
Mutharika spoke to British Broadcasting Corporation’s Emmanuel Eguyia Monday in News Day programme.
“The opposition, through Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), refused to accept the results of the elections, they went to court and at the same time, they are demanding her resignation through demonstrations so that is where the problem is,” Mutharika said.
Mutharika said he would not ask Ansah to step down.
“No, it is not my job to ask Ansah to step down. It is clear that the elections were fair and credible. The European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and even the American government say the election was successful so why should Ansah resign?” Mutharika said.
Malawi Congress Party and UTM petitioned the High Court seeking nullification of the election results which the parties feel Mec mismanaged; hence, the calls for Ansah’s resignation.
The Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe is handling the case.
However, Ansah told the press recently that she cannot resign branding such calls as mob justice.
HRDC has been organising nationwide demonstrations pushing for Ansah’s resignation but the Supreme Court stopped such protests through a 14- day moratorium to enable the concerned parties to find a way of holding demonstrations peacefully.
Meanwhile, Public Appointments Committee (Pac), through its chairperson Collins Kajawa, has summoned HRDC officials to Parliament to discuss the calls for Ansah to resign as the organisation has been lobbying.
“You are ordered to come and appear before the Pac committee at Parliament Bulding in Lilongwe on September 5, 2019 at 10.00 O’clock to give evidence on the call by your organisation for the resignation of the Mec chairperson Justice Jane Ansah,” the summon reads.
Meanwhile, HRDC Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, said they would meet HRDC on the said date.
“If a committee of Parliament is inviting HRDC, it means that our calls are true and valid, as they want to hear the issues Malawians have been raising, so it is a sign that Jane Ansah should just go to allow this country to move forward,” he said.
According to Mec Act, a member of the Commission may be removed from the office by the President on the recommendation of Pac on the grounds of incapacity.
“A member of the electoral commission may be removed from office by the President on the recommendation of Pac on the grounds of incapacity or incompetence in the performance of the duties of that office,” Section 75 subsection 4 of the Act reads.
HRDC has been pushing for Ansah to resign saying she did not properly handle the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court continues hearing the matter today.