MEC says its operations not affected by office closure

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says the closure of its offices by protesters has not affected the commission’s operations.

MEC Spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa made the remarks after Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) sealed MEC offices in Lilongwe with chains and locks and handed over the keys to the Malawi Defence force.

Mwafulirwa said MEC is still going to operate despite its offices being locked because the commission has got a mandate given by the constitution.

He assured people of Liwawadzi ward in Balaka that they will vote in a byelection slated for March 5.

He added that what the commissioners said at Parliament about resigning still stands.

Speaking to the press after locking the office in Lilongwe, HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo said they decided to close the offices as one way of reminding MEC Chairperson Justice Dr Ansah and the commissioners that MEC stands for Malawians.

He said this is a sign that they have fired Ansah and the commissioners and they are going to open the offices after Ansah and the commissioners resign.

Mtambo continued to say that if anyone unlocks or enters the office, the protesters are going to come back.

He added that they are going to march to Parliament next week to force MPs to appoint new commissioners and enable the electoral reforms.

HRDC has been conducting the anti-Ansah demonstrations since last year to force MEC Chair and the commissioners to resign accusing them of mismanaging the now nullified 21 May 2019 presidential elections.