Malawi: Fresh Anti-Ansah Demos On Friday - 'Mysterious Deaths' of Electoral Officials Shock HRDC

Photo: AEP
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The civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have announced fresh demonstrations to be held on Friday July 19 to press for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah.

HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo (L), Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence (C) and member Luke Tembo: Anti-Ansah demos on Friday

HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the demonstrations will be nationwide on Friday and that from next week they will be held every Tuesday and Friday until, steps down.

"We want to remind all Malawians that our demonstrations are peaceful and not meant to target businesses, individuals and organisations," Mtambo told reporters in Lilongwe.

Flanked by HRDC vice chairperson Gift Trapence, human rights defenders Billy Mayaya and Dorothy Ngoma, Mtambo said the grouping's primary focus is "to restore Malawi's destiny through electoral justice. We want Jane Ansah to resign."

In his comments, Trapence said the activist are aware that the Ansah-led electoral commission continue to bastardise the elections through a coordinated effort disguised as an affidavit solicitation process in many districts "in which opaque meetings are being held, sometimes in the dead of night, with election presiding officers allegedly being forced to retroactively append signatures to, thus certifying after the fact, vote tally documents."

He continued: "This, shockingly, is in spite of MEC's own categorical insistence that election-related documentation had duly followed all procedural stipulations as required by law before the announcement of the final official results, and so has been the position of MEC even during the ongoing court proceedings.

The HRDC have also registered its disappointment and shock over mysterious deaths of presiding officers and persons connected to the alleged fraudulent elections over the past week.

Trapence said the death toll of persons of interest in different aspect of the contested elected has reached six, saying the people have died "under strange circumstances."

He said MEC working with the help of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is working on "other nefarious processes" to counter the due process of the law in the elections case.

Trapence said there has been inaction from Police to establish the cause of the mysterious deaths.

HRDC said they will continue to press for the resignation of Ansah whom they accuse of messing up the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Ansah, who is also a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, is on record as having said the Constitutional Court hearing a petition for the nullification of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections will determine if she was wrong.

She has refused to step down and said she is leading "a normal life."

Ansah has become the second MEC chairperson to face resignation calls after the late William Hanjahanja who tendered his resignation in May 1999 amid pressure from electoral stakeholders.

Then president Bakili Muluzi replaced Hanjahanja, who cited health grounds as reasons for his resignation within weeks to the 1999 elections, with Supreme Court Judge James Kalaile.

Stakeholders accused Hanjahanja of poor leadership, but the commission said medical doctors had given him a two-week bed rest after treating him for malaria and high blood pressure.

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