President Peter Mutharka has accepted the resignation of embattled Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, SC.
Mutharika’s spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, has confirmed the development to Kulinji.com saying the Malawi Electoral Commission chairpersonship has fallen vacant.
Kalilani said Mutharika has described Dr. Ansah as a distinctive Malawian patriot who has served her country well and selflessly.
“The President has accepted the decision of madam Dr. Jane Ansah, SC to step aside from the chairpersonship of the Malawi Electoral Commission. In accepting the decision, His Excellency the President has described Dr. Jane Ansah as a distinctive Malawian patriot who has served her country well and selflessly, and the President is wishing Dr. Ansah the best in future,” said Kalilani.
He then said the president has since urged all agencies involved in identify a new chairperson to do the needful.
“There are processes and laid down procedures that have to be followed if a person is to be appointed as the chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, and the processes do carter across several governance institutions including the Office of the President and Cabinet. So the president will do what is required and we also expect other agencies to do what is required so that we have someone appointed to take up the chairmanship,” he said.
Justice Ansah on Thursday told the state broadcaster, MBC in an exclusive interview that she had written the appointing authority announcing her resignation because she respects the law.
“I have written the appointing authority that I am stepping aside because I respect the judgement of the Supreme Court not the demonstrations.
"That’s why I stood through during the demonstrations but the highest court has spoken. Yes I have to step aside,” said Justice Ansah.
Earlier on Monday, Kalilani confirmed to Kulinji.com that the President had received the resignation letter from Dr. Ansah and that by close of business today the decision will be made.
“Yes I can confirm that the President has received a resignation letter from Dr. Jane Ansah resigning as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission. The President’s reaction to the letter will be known before close of business today [Friday],” said Kalilani.
Justice Ansah was appointed as MEC chairperson in 2016 and she goes into Malawi’s history to have led the nation to presidential elections marred by serious irregularities leading to nullification.
Both the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court found the MEC chairperson and the commissioners incompetent.
The country goes to poll to elect the president on June 23 this year.