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Opposition Punches Holes on New Commission

Mutharika made the appointment Mutharika made the appointment - file photo

Opposition political parties have expressed reservations over the composition of the newly appointed Malawi Electoral Commission team.

Malawi Congress Party Publicity Reverend Maurice Munthali has faulted President Peter Mutharika for retaining two commissioners who the courts declared incompetent.

“The only thing we can commend is that we now have a new MEC in place and there are representatives of Malawi Congress Party who are representing Tonse Alliance.

“But we have noted serious irregularities in the manner the President has appointed the Commission.

“The first anomaly is reappointment of two commissioners; Dr. Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje who the courts said are incompetent in the manner they handled 2019 polls. It is not only the constitutional court but also the Supreme Court,” he said.

He added the party is also against the appointment of commissioners not proportionally to the number of legislators that the parties have in parliament.

“These are serious irregularities that the whole professor of law could have avoided. If the whole President can flout the law it means we have no sense of direction in terms of pursuing the law.

“He is deliberately causing law crisis. If that is the path he has chosen we will not follow him along that path because we have a country to lead. Malawi wants change. Malawi wants to be united and does not want to be a lawless country,” said Reverend Munthali.

His sentiments were echoed by Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) President Peter Kuwani who blames it on the country’s laws, saying they give too much powers to the Executive on appointment of commissioners.

“First we should appreciate the gesture. The office which was almost incapacitated has now gained life but what should concern us as nation is to whether that independence which we have been crying for has been reinstated.

“The problem is the enabling statutes enabling the appointments of MEC Commissioners. They give powers to the President. That alone has a conflict of interest.

“You know that there is selection of individuals who in a way or the other might lean towards a certain section of a political block. We can cry all day as far as the remaining statutes regarding appointment of commissioners remain the same,” he said.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09/06/2020

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