Malawi President Mutharika refuses to fire Electoral Commission Chairperson

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has said he would intervene the country’s escalating political tension after court’s decision on a case where opposition parties are challenging the May elections results.

The Southen African nation has seen political unrest since the announcement of the May 21 elections results, where Mutharika was re-elected for a second term.

Some quarters led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition, believe the Malawi Electoral Commission altered the tally centres in favour of Mutharika. They have since then been protesting for the resignation or firing of the Commission’s chairperson Jane Ansa.

Some shops have been looted and property damaged the start of the protests in June but Ansa has challenged she can’t resign.

Despite that the situation is scary and impacting negatively on the country’s economy, Mutharika says can’t do anything to resolve the conflict.

“I can’t fire Jane Ansa because the elections were free and fair,” Mutharika told BBC’s Focus on Africa.

“The African Union, SADIC, EU and American government among other Electoral Observers mission declared that the elections were free and fair so why should she ?,” Questioned Mutharika.

He alleged that the Malawi Congress Party and UTM who are challenging the results in court are using the Human Rights Defenders Coalition which is coordinating the protests to deny the results.

“We have a big problem here,” says Mutharika, ” The same people are protesting while at the same time challenging the case in court, at the moment I can’t do anything until the Court’s decision on the case.”

Mutharika also expressed no interest to meet the opposition for dialogue.

The two opposition parties accuse Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party of rigging the elections which the civil society group accuses Ansa of betraying Malawians by mismanaging their vote.

The court is expected to make it’s judgement on the case in December.

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