Over 500 people were severely injured during protests – Mutharika

… Says not his job to fire Ansah

President Peter Mutharika has told the BBC that over 500 people were severely injured during post-election demonstrations conducted over the past three months.

In the interview, Mutharika also said his government has not banned protests in the country but the constitution does not allow violent demonstrations.

“You have seen the destruction. That is taking place. A number of government buildings burned; totally destroyed; people injured, over 500 people severely injured,” Mutharika said.

President Peter Mutharika:

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has been holding demonstrations demanding the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson saying she mismanaged the May 21 presidential elections.
Asked if he would request Ansah to step down, Mutharika said it is not his job to do so. He added that there is no reason for him to ask Ansah to resign since the elections were credible, fair and transparent.

“The European Union, the African Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Central Africa, Southern African Development Community (SADC), UNDP and even the American Government says this election was successful,” he said.

The Malawi leader also said that the political situation in the country is there because the opposition through the Human Rights Defenders Coalition refused to accept the results of the election and then started to conduct demonstrations while also challenging the results in court

On uniting Malawians, Mutharika said he will wait for the outcome of the presidential election case which he was confident will be very soon.

“And once the results come out, and then we shall be in a position to see how we bring the country together. We are already talking as I said. Negotiations are going on,” Mutharika said.

He, however, was not sure if he would meet leaders of main opposition parties. The Malawi leader said the opposition have to define the agenda of the meeting and his government will decide whether to accept the agenda.

“And then decide whether we are going to meet or not,” he said.

Mutharika was declared winner of the May 21 elections but opposition parties are disputing the results in court as they argue that the polls were affected by numerous irregularities.

The opposition have also been endorsing anti-Ansah demonstrations organized by the HRDC. Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal issued a moratorium on the protests due to violence recorded during the demonstrations.