Tuesday September 21, 2021

Malawi Opposition push for new election panel

March 25, 2020

BLANTYRE: Malawi´s main opposition parties on Tuesday urged supporters to stay away from work to force members of the beleaguered electoral commission to quit ahead a re-run of presidential elections.

On February 3, the Constitutional Court overturned the results of last year´s presidential vote, ruling that the electoral panel had grossly mismanaged a poll which saw “massive” use of correction fluid on ballot tally sheets.

“We have resolved to... force Jane Ansah and her fellow commissioners to resign,” the Malawi Congress Party and United Transformation Movement, which came second and third in the now-annulled ballot, said in a statement.

The two parties have partnered up ahead of the next vote, which is due on July 2.They have called on their supporters to stay at home on Friday March 27, which they dubbed a “day of rage”.

“Since we cannot hold street protests due to the coronavirus, we are calling on all our supporters to stay away from work on Friday,” they said. Parliament has also recommended that President Peter Mutharika sack the commissioners.

The two parties will also approach the courts to seek the removal of the electoral commission.“We will be asking the constitutional court to determine whether it is lawful for (commission chief) Jane Ansah to continue holding her position when the court and Parliament have clearly stated that she is incompetent,” they said.

“It is extremely disappointing and sad that Jane Ansah should still lead this commission in administering the forthcoming fresh elections.”Ansah and her team have refused to step down, a position that “speaks volumes of moral contempt,” the statement said.