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Pac courts Jane Ansah today

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Public Affairs Committee (Pac) is expected to meet Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, today in Blantyre as part of mediation talks on the country’s political impasse after the May 21 tripartite elections.

Last month, Pac met President Peter Mutharika, who is also Democratic Progressive (DPP) party leader, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima and civil society organisatons operating under the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) banner to find a solution to the post-election stalemate in the country.

Pac Executive Director, Robert Phiri, Sunday could not disclose the agenda of the meeting with Ansah arguing that they would re-engage Mutharika on the issues they would discuss this morning.

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“It pleased Mec to respond to our request for dialogue with them on issues of national importance. I cannot comment now on items of the agenda as a caucus will be held tomorrow [today] prior to the Mec meeting,” he said.

“At this stage, once we are done with this meeting, we will be looking forward to re-engaging the Head of State. I do expect a constructive conversation as has always been the case. Pac believes in dialogue as this creates mutual understanding among actors, so we are pleased to dialogue with Mec.”

Mec Media and Public Relations Director, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, could not confirm the meeting.

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“I am not aware. Check with Pac if they sent an invitation,” he said.

HRDC Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, commended Pac for persisting to meet the Mec Chairperson, saying Malawians have trust in them.

“We hope that Pac will represent Malawians well and that they are aware of what Malawians want. We hope that they will pass the message from Malawians that Mec should operate independently,” he said.

MCP spokesperson, Maurice Munthali, said Pac needs to be supported in this endeavour.

“We feel that Public Affairs Committee is doing all this with clear intentions and they need the support,” he said.

So far, Pac has held such meetings with UTM, MCP, HRDC and Mutharika, where Phiri said critical issues had been isolated.

To press for Ansah’s resignation, HRDC has been organising nationwide demonstrations whose latest round ended in violence as suspected DPP cadets and demonstrators pelted stones at each other in Blantyre.

The violence has led to loss of lives and property thereby affecting the economy prompting Pac, former president Bakili Muluzi and the United Nations to play a part in the dialogue.

MCP and UTM are challenging the election results in a Constitutional Court which is sitting in Lilongwe.

The two parties want the results nullified. Ansah has refused to resign saying she would wait for the court’s determination on the case.

She has branded calls for her resignation as mob justice. Mutharika also slammed opposition parties for refusing to accept the election results which he says international observers described as free and fair.

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