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Pac backs demonstrations

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By Emmanuel Chirwa:

CHINGOTA—The citizenry are free to hold
demonstrations

Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has said the nationwide mass demonstrations, which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has organised on June 20 2019 are justified.

Human rights organisations, under HRDC banner, want to hold the demonstrations demanding the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, following alleged irregularities that marred the May 21 elections.

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The quasi-religious body’s chairperson, Father Felix Chingota, made the remarks in an interview with Times last week.

Chingota said the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi allows people to organise peaceful protests when unhappy with issues

“The Constitution mandates the citizenry to hold peaceful demonstrations when the administration is not performing according to expectations or other important issues. So long as they are within the law, the citizenry are free to hold demonstrations,” he said.

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Chingota said his organisation engaged political parties prior to the May 21 Tripartite Elections on the importance of dialogue or seeking the courts’ intervention when something goes amiss in the electoral process.

“On May 4 2019, when we organised national prayers, we told the political parties that, in any event of irregularities, they should maintain peace, engage in dialogue or seek the courts’ intervention. We commend them that, so far, they are in line with what we told them,” he said.

Malawi Congress Party and UTM sought court intervention to nullify May 21 presidential election results which indicated that Democratic Progressive Party leader, Peter Mutharika, was the winner.

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