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ANSAHThe Human Rights Defenders Coalition calls for your immediate resignation as the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). We, at HRDC and indeed Malawians of goodwill and understanding of the requirements of integrity for senior Public Officers heading state institutions, have lost trust and confidence in your stewardship of the Electoral Commission. We find your approach and attitude in handling electoral stakeholders’ complaints about the results management component of the 2019 tripartite elections, scandalous and unacceptable.

It is now public knowledge that you have presided over a fraudulent election. Malawi’s electoral process has become a subject of international ridicule because of the way you have mismanaged the results in favour of your preferred candidate while subverting the will of ordinary Malawian voters. Many observers raised red flags on malpractices and irregularities including tipp-exed results sheets, denying copies of results sheets to party monitors, and electoral staff being found with pre-filled results sheets. We take the view that you wrongly dismissed the complaints without due regard and consideration and went ahead to announce election results that were not credible. Instead of ensuring a clean, uncorrupted electoral process, you were at the centre of creating and executing the electoral fraud as the majority of the electoral irregularities were perpetrated by MEC staff in positions of Presiding Officers, clerks and Returning Officers. Madam you told this nation that you were addressing 147 electoral complaints but to date no-one knows how you specifically addressed these problems because the process was not done in a transparent manner. As HRDC we demanded that before presidential results were announced your office was supposed to demonstrate as to how you addressed each and every challenge to inspire confidence in the whole process. Just saying you have addressed everything madam was not enough. We hold that we are at pains to believe and accept that you would address your own problems in a fair and just manner considering the fact that it was MEC officers behind electoral manipulation.

TIMOOYour association and fraternity with the Democratic Progressive Party cadres in celebrating electoral results that your Commission determined and you personally announced and are currently in dispute in the courts of law convinces us that you are compromised and you clearly project an appearance of being politically biased.  Your willingness to make yourself available for photo-shoot opportunities with cadres of the Democratic Progressive Party at the inauguration ceremony for President Peter Mutharika, arising from an electoral process you oversaw is, to say the least, repulsive. We find this to be against the requirements of political neutrality and impartiality that are pertinent for operational autonomy of the Electoral Commission. We do not need to remind you that the office you hold demands the bearers to conduct themselves in a very noble, nonpartisan and impartial way at every given time. We find that you have intentionally abrogated these virtues. While we recognize your freedom of association, the office you hold demands that you do not openly profess your allegiance to any political party, let alone during the electoral process.

As different stakeholders are moving the courts to seek legal redress on the many challenges that characterized the elections, we call upon you to honorably resign from your position as the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson. You hold the position on trust; and your conduct has betrayed the very same trust on which basis you hold office.

It is against this background that we strongly believe you should pave way and leave it to other more suitably qualified and ethical Malawians to lead the MEC. We ask you to honorably step down in the next two weeks (14 days) from the date of this letter. We intend to use all legally acceptable means and actions at our disposal after the 14 days, against you if you will not have resigned.