Activists who are against the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) failure to conduct by-elections on June 6 in Lilongwe City South and Lilongwe Msozi constituencies, say they plan to hold demonstrations on June 29 in the affected areas.
But MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa has said the activists are ignoring facts surrounding the postponement of the by-elections.
Mwafulirwa on Tuesday said the decision by MEC to postpone the by-elections was clearly stated, and logically it does not make sense that people would expect MEC to hold by-elections in the absence of funding as it does not generate its own resources.
He said: “There was no option but to postpone the by-elections with no funding from the government, and this is despite efforts by the commission to ask for release of the funds.”
Mwafulirwa further said MEC will follow its tentative calendar for the by-elections once it gets the much needed funding.
But in a statement released on Wednesday signed by activists Gift Trapence and Billy Mayaya, they have reiterated their stand that the country’s Republican Constitution is clear about the timeframe in which vacant parliamentary seats must be filled, saying the 60-day threshold is clear and not a matter of debate.
“It is the duty of MEC to ensure that there are adequate resources to facilitate the holding of free, fair and accessible by-elections. Similarly, the Parliamentary Committee on Assurances and Public Sector Reforms that MEC’s claims that it has no funds is inexcusable,” reads part of the statement.
The statement further says the activists still maintain their stand that they have lost confidence in Justice Jane Ansah’s ability to carry out the mandate of MEC without bias and undue influence from outside forces hence calling for her immediate resignation from MEC.