HRDC To Hold Vigil At Parliament
Human Rights Defenders Coalition HRDC has on Sunday announced at a media briefing in Lilongwe that it will hold protests across the country which shall include a vigil at parliament building in Lilongwe, to force legislators discuss electoral bills.
The human rights body says it plans to start the protests on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
During the media briefing , HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence said the organization has observed that President Peter Mutharika is using some tactics to delay a presidential election which the Constitutional Court ordered that it must be done within 150 days from February 3, 2020, hence the announcement of the demonstrations.
The HRDC Chairperson cautioned the President against intimidating Malawians, referring to the president’s sentiment made when opening the budget meeting of parliament on Friday.
In his State of the Nation Address , the President suggested that anyone who shall attempt to remove him from power, shall have committed treason.
"He ( The President ) is not bigger than Malawi and he is not bigger than the Constitution. Time has come for the nation to defend the constitution”, said Trapence.
According to Trapence , Parliament represents Malawians therefore he does not think a vigil by citizens it represents can be ignored by legislators.
During the press briefing, National Coordinator for HRDC Luke Tembo, presented a statement titled : "Response to the Scandalous State of the Nation Address , " made by President Mutharika.
In the statement HRDC said President Mutharika will not be allowed to continue with the Presidency after the 150 day period set by the court
"We know the kind of people we are dealing with , if we wait for the Ministry of Justice to take the bills to parliament, it will not work, that’s why we have resolved to hold vigil at parliament ”, said Tembo.
The human rights body said the country shall need to have a transitional government to take over from President Mutharika should there be no election until July 3, 2020. Taking his turn a senior member of HRDC Macdonald Sembeleka described the announced wave of nationwide demonstrations as “the last push”, in seeking electoral justice.
HRDC further called for the resignation of senior official at MEC, including Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika , accusing them of assisting the last cohort of MEC Commissioners in mismanagement of the May 21, 2019 Presidential Election.
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