HRDC Demos on wednesday-to deliver petition to SADC summit

Human Rights Defenders Coalition  has announced that they will hold protests against ECF-SADC for Electoral Commission currently under way at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Making the announcement, HRDC  states that they want the SADC meeting cancelled. The Summit was opened by Malawi electoral commission chair Jane Ansah of whom HRDC has been at the forefront calling for her to resign.

Ansah who attended a meeting of the Electoral Commissions Forum for SADC Countries (ECF-SADC) at the hotel today has for the past three months defied calls to step down.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe today, HRDC member Billy Mayaya said they have already sent a letter of notification to the district council and Police in Blantyre for the demonstrations which will be held from Wednesday to Friday.

Mayaya added that ECF-SADC has challenged Malawians by recognizing Ansah as its president despite some Malawians rejecting her due to irregularities in the May 21 elections.

“We are therefore calling on Malawians of goodwill to join and demand the electoral justice, we are saying that protestors will not leave Mount Soche premises until MEC chair resigns,” he explained.

HRDC has been organising nationwide demonstrations demanding Ansah’s resignation.

The organisation as well as the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM accuse Ansah and MEC of failing to deliver credible presidential elections in May.

The last demonstrations which were conducted in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, and Blantyre among other districts ended in violence as some journalists were harassed by protesters.

Meanwhile, at the Hotel where the ECF-SAD conference is taking place, there is heavy security with police officers deployed at the gates.