The newly-appointed Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah yesterday pledged to uphold the Constitution in conducting her duties and called for support from all sectors of society for her to effectively serve the nation.
She said this when being sworn in at a ceremony that took place at the Supreme Court in Blantyre a week after her appointment.
“This is a huge responsibility and it bears so much on my life. I take it seriously and pledge to do my work without fear and favour and uphold the Constitution as my position entails.
“I promise to abide by the law and call for your support so that we work together for the success of MEC and that of our nation,” said Ansah.
Presiding over the ceremony, chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda advised the new MEC chairperson to safeguard public interest and exercise professional independence.
Nyirenda said as a nation, Malawians seek to be informed on credible electoral processes and that credibility starts with the personal credibility of the MEC chairperson and ultimately the collective credibility of the commission.
“You will no doubt wield vast powers over elections. These vast powers can be used or abused, but you must always be personally reminded that your loyalty is to the Constitution, the State and the public interest; never to a specific individual,” he said.
In his word of counsel, Nyirenda said the Constitution should remain a roadmap for the MEC chairperson and electoral laws her working tools.
“Read these documents [the Constitution and electoral laws] and be familiar with them. In that way you will be well informed about your role as chairperson in the management of our elections,” he said.
Born on October 11 1955, Ansah was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in June 2011. Prior to her appointment, she served as Attorney General of the Republic of Malawi from 2006 to 2011. She became a High Court judge in December 1998.