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Pac verdict on Mec expected today

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Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament is set to produce a report of recommendations on Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners’ enquiry today.

Pac chairperson Collins Kajawa at the end of the enquiry Monday said the committee will meet today and finalise the report which will be sent to President Peter Mutharika for action.

Kajawa, however, was not clear on what the committee would do in case Mutharika rejects their recommendations stressing the committee is acting according to the law.

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“The law must take its course because what we are doing is what the law implores us to do so it empowers us to recommend. We are simply doing what the law empowers us to do,” he said

After conducting the enquiry on eight commissioners, including Mec Chairperson Jane Ansah, Kajawa said the exercise has given Malawians an opportunity to hear what the commissioners could not ordinary say on how the elections were managed.

In the afternoon Commissioner Clifford Baloyi, who closed the floor for the enquiry, challenged the committee that even if a recount of votes can be made, valid votes that the commission used to determine the winner will still remain despite widespread use of correctional fluid called Tip-pex.

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“For us, the valid votes are crucial. When you talk of Tip-pex, the valid votes do not have Tip-pex, so that would show the will of Malawians,” he said

Baloyi also argued that the commission effectively managed the elections adding that the commission did not err in accepting Tip-pexed results sheets arguing the reconciliation part of the sheet need to balance for the commission to accept the results.

He further said while it was unlawful to use ordinary paper as tally sheets, the valid votes were not affected.

Commissioner Kiliyoni Mgawi has failed to appear before the committee on medical grounds.

Pac instituted an enquiry into the capacity of the commissioners following the Constitution Court’s order which found them to be incompetent in the management of the May 21, 2019 elections.

The court also ordered Parliament to look into the legal framework that should define the appointing authority of the Chairperson Mec.

The Constitutional Court on Feb 3, 2020 ordered fresh elections to be held within 150 days

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