Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and its electoral alliance partners have endorsed vigils Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has organised on July 4 and 5 to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.
MCP and its partners, People’s Party (PP) and Freedom Party (FP), have since appealed to their supporters to patronise the vigils that follow Ansah’s failure to resign as per the ultimatum issued to her during the June 20 nationwide demonstrations.
HRDC wants Ansah and her commissioners to quit for purportedly failing to manage the May 21 Tripartite Elections which were marred with irregularities, especially in the results management process.
But Ansah has refused to resign and told Zodiak Broadcasting Station in an exclusive interview on Monday night that she would only quit if the court finds her in the wrong. She described the demonstrations and calls for her resignation amid an ongoing elections case as “mob justice”.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe yesterday, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka alongside FP president and the country’s former vice-president Khumbo Kachali said their alliance was part of the vigils.
Said Kachali: “We endorse the 4th and 5th July vigils. The Constitution does enshrine so many freedoms and one of those is that to demonstrate. It is in keeping with the Constitution that we are endorsing the vigils organised by the HRDC.”
On what will change in the July vigils as Ansah has refused to resign, Mkaka said sustained pressure will force the MEC chairperson to resign.
The alliance has since called on the police to protect people and not intimidate them with tear gas.
In a related development, MCP and its alliance partners have called on their supporters to turn up at the High Court in Lilongwe today to express their solidarity with MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima for filing for nullification of the presidential election results.
Mkaka said the supporters will not be in the vicinity of the courts, but away from the court building.
HRDC has since described Ansah’s stance not to resign as taking Malawians for granted.
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday afternoon, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the sentiments Ansah made during the television interview were completely out of her mandate as a lawyer and judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal as she kept contradicting herself on various issues.
MCP took its resistance to Mutharika’s legitimacy to another level on Friday when its legislators attempted to block the President from delivering his State of the Nation Address in Parliament. The legislators later walked out in protest and the party, which has the second highest number of members of Parliament, has refused to nominate a Leader of Opposition in Parliament.