12 April 2018

Malawi: MCP Calls for Malawi Poll Chief to Resign - Ansah Defiant, Says Not Going Anywhere

Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has has called on chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Jane Ansah to resign for what it calls failure by the commission to act on reports of violence and intimidation during the campaign period in Tuesday's by-elections but she has rejected such calls, saying is not stepping down.

MCP spokesman Ezekiel Ching'oma said the conduct of MEC in the by-elections held in Malindi Ward in a NGO hi North Constituency and Milonde Ward in Mulanje South East constituency does not inspire hope that Ansah willl guide the nation to a credible 2019 Tripartite elections.

The opposition party expressed dissatisfaction with a number of irregularities and alleges that some of its monitors were chased from polling stations, a claim Ansah disputed.

In an election that saw the UDF candidate win Malindi ward and the ruling DPP winning the Milonde Ward, MCP said it was dissatisfied with the way the whole electoral process was conducted.

The party's Diaspora wing has added to this call and are demanding for the immediate removal of the chairperson of the electoral body, Ansah.

"We are calling for the immediate removal of Dr Jane Ansah at the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission. We have no confidence in Ansah and the way the electoral commission failed to resolve some of the irregularities that were happening during the campaign period. If she could not manage to sort problems in just two wards, how can we expect her to handle the general elections next year?" reads a statement issued by Chalo Mvula,MCP diaspora wing communications director.

"We cannot allow politics of intimidation to continue and affect the electoral process. People have the right in a democracy to listen to what all political parties are saying. If there was a right time for the commission to show us its teeth and give us confidence that 2019 will be free and fair elections, then this was this time. Unfortunately, it is now clear that with Ansah at the helm, next year's elections will be all chaos" highlighted Mvula.

The MCP diapora Wing says it is concerned that the commission is choosing to acknowledge that the electoral process faced violence and intimidation, "yet it's going through with its process of announcing the results and even describing the process as free and fair."

The statement said Ansah's condemnation of the acts of "creating no go zones" are nothing if they are not to be followed up by actions.

"We are therefore demanding that she be removed from her position as we have lost confidence in her capabilities to deliver a free and fair election," reads the statement.

However, Ansah said allegations that MEC has done nothing are not correct.

" I and all the commissioners have been going around to see things for ourselves and I would like to assure you that no violence has been recorded in any of our polling centres," said Ansah during the announcement of the by-election results.

She acknowledged receipt of complaints during the campaign period.


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