Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has announced that it will hold three-day nation-wide demonstrations from Wednesday to push authorities to act swiftly on various election-related issues.
Addressing the press in Lilongwe yesterday, HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence and other leaders said the demonstrations, called the 3 Million March, will take place in the country’s main streets.
Said Trapence: “We want to announce our plan to hold demonstrations and hold vigils at Parliament from Wednesday. We want the CEO [chief elections officer] and technical people in the IT department at MEC [Malawi Electoral Commission] to resign because they helped commissioners to mismanage the May 21 2019 presidential election.”
He said the coalition also wants Parliament to table and pass the Electoral Reforms Bills and set a date for a fresh election within the 150 days that were ordered by the Constitutional Court on February 3 this year in Lilongwe.
On MEC CEO Sam Alfandika and the technical team, HRDC observed that the team aided former commissioners to manipulate the May 21 2019 presidential election results and that they too, should step down.
On Thursday last week, prominent lawyer Garton Kamchedzera also said Alfandika should be asked to resign from MEC because he is the technical head of the institution which messed up the election.
In his presentation during a seminar on the fresh presidential election organised by civil society organisations in Lilongwe, Kamchedzera, who is a professor of law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, said to restore the public image of MEC and confidence in the electoral system, technical officers at the electoral body, including Alfandika should also be asked to resign.
MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa yesterday declined to comment, saying that issue should be dealt with individually with by those concerned.
On the bills, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara said the House is waiting for them from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs so that they should be tabled in Parliament.