HRDC gives Mutharika seven days to sign electoral reforms bills, fire Ansah


The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given President Peter Mutharika an ultimatum of seven days to assent to the electoral bills that have passed been in Parliament.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Chairperson of the Coalition Timothy Mtambo said there is no time to waste as Malawians need to vote again in the 2020 fresh elections.

“We are giving the president seven days to sign the bills and if he fails to do so we are going to hold vigils at State House and we will be there until he signs those electoral bills.

“There is no need for him to wait until 21 days, 19 May is near and we want him to sign those bills so that MEC can start preparing for the elections,” said Mtambo.

He added that the president needs to act fast on the report by Public Affairs Committee (PAC) on the competence of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other MEC commissioners.

“We know that the PAC report wants the president to fire all MEC commissioners and there is no need for him to delay that’s what it is needed.

“We also give him seven days to fire all MEC commissioners, we want new MEC commissioners as soon as possible so that they can start working because time is not our side,” he said.

On Monday, Parliament passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections amendment bill which sets 19 May as the date for the 2020 fresh presidential elections and provides for the holding a run-off election 30 days later if no candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote of the votes cast.

Mtambo at the press briefing thanked Members of Parliament for passing the reforms bill.

“We thank the MPs that put an effort to make sure the bills have passed and also we condemn the MPs that were trying to hold the passing of the bills in their interest,” he said.

The HRDC has been holding demonstrations demanding the resignation of Ansah over irregularities in the now nullified May 21 Elections.