The Human Rights Defenders Coalition – HRDC has vowed to come back in the streets if the country fails to hold fresh presidential election within 150 days as directed by the courts.
On Wednesday, HRDC held peaceful demonstrations in major cities across the country to force President Peter Mutharika and the parliament to address some of their concerns related to the fourth coming fresh presidential election.
In Lilongwe, HRDC Chairperson, Gift Trapence, led demonstrators to deliver petition to the National Assembly where he warned of more demonstrations if the presidential polls are delayed and he called upon the newly sworn-in Chairperson for the Electoral body, Justice Chifundo Kachale, to execute his duties professionally when presiding over the forthcoming presidential election.
In Zomba, a 6 km march, which attracted a small group of people, started from Chinamwali to District Commissioner’s office where they presented their petition.
Speaking after delivering the petition, HRDC Chairperson for the Eastern Region, Madalitso Banda, said among other issues in the petition include warning government against sabotaging the forthcoming presidential election and demanding for the removal of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners, Jean Namathanga and Linda Kunje and chief elections officer, Sam Alufandika.
Banda said: “We are worried that government is trying to frustrate these elections by bringing in bills that will amend the constitution with the aim of delaying or completely block the elections.
“HRDC secretariat will soon hold a press briefing to tell the nation on the next course of action to ensure that Namathanga, Kunje and Alufandika, should not be part of MEC team which will administer the fresh presidential elections.”
While in Mzuzu, the chapter’s Chairperson for HRDC, has asked the country’s President Peter Mutharika to support the electoral process by among others providing adequate resources as well as taking action on the orders that came from the Court.
On Tuesday, June 9, parliament set June 23 as the date for the fresh presidential elections, amid protests from the government side.