Commentator doubts the viability of PAC, HRDC meeting

A Political expert, George Phiri has doubted the viability of intervention by the Public Appointment Committee (PAC) of Parliament in regard to calls by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to have the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah fired.

On Thursday, PAC engaged members of HRDC on their demands to have Justice Ansah fired for presiding over an election claimed to be fraudulent.

Commenting on the development, Phiri of the Livingstonia University expressed distrust on the possibility that PAC would change or compel Mutharika to fire Ansah.

Phiri cited a recent interview which Mutharika granted British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a clear indication that the President is not willing to fire MEC Chairperson in any case.

Phiri said: “I don’t think we have any direction in this kind of dialogue because the statement by Mutharika on BBC indicated that there is no need for dialogue because to him it seems Jane Ansah is non-negotiable.”

He further advised Mutharika to avoid coming out publicly claiming that the elections were free and fair while the matter is still in court.

During the meeting with HRDC yesterday, PAC has promised to summon Justice Ansah to hear her side of the story.

In July, HRDC had also another dialogue with the country’s former president, Dr. Bakikili Muluzi aimed at settling issues surrounding anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations but the dialogue had no impact.

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