Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is this morning expected to meet Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah in Blantyre as part of its mediation efforts to resolve the post-election stalemate.
PAC executive director Robert Phiri in an interview on Sunday confirmed the meeting, saying Ansah is expected to attend.
He said the meeting is scheduled to start at 10am, but he could not give details of the venue and agenda of the meeting.
Said Phiri: “I can confirm that the meeting will take place tomorrow [today]. As I indicated last time that we had received a cordial response from MEC. So yes, it’s true that PAC mediators will engage MEC. Both parties are set to hold a constructive conversation.
“It will be in Blantyre around 10 o’clock, but about the venue, we are trying to finalise in terms of confirmation but the likelihood will be at Mount Soche. On our part, its PAC mediators but on the other side, we don’t know, but it is confirmed that the MEC chair will be present.”
Phiri refused to divulge details of the meeting’s agenda, saying it will be adopted at the meeting. He said, however, that anything being tackled now focuses on issues of national interest.
Asked if MEC had received an invitation for the meeting, the electoral body’s director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said he was not aware of such a meeting.
PAC has already met President Peter Mutharika of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera, but was yet to meet Ansah who is at the centre of the prevailing standoff that has engulfed the country since the May 21 Tripartite Elections results were announced.
Since MEC declared Mutharika winner of the May 21 presidential poll with 1 940 740 votes, representing 38.8 percent, the political temperature has risen, with nationwide demonstrations which in some cases have been marred by looting and violence.
Results MEC announced put Chakwera on second position with 1 781 740 votes, representing 35.41 percent and Chilima came third, ahead of four other aspirants, with 1 018 369 votes, representing 20.24 percent.
Chilima and Chakwera have since filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the presidential election results. They cite alleged flaws in the results management process as a key factor for their case.
On the other hand, HRDC has been organising nationwide demonstrations to force Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over a flawed electoral process.
PAC’s mediation team, led by Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, comprises members from Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (Qmam) and Malawi Council of Churches.
PAC was formed in 1992 during the country’s political transition from one-party to multiparty system of government.