Ansah: Court will determine why Tippex was used, I won't resign

Written by  MBC Online

MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah on Monday night told a private TV station that Tippex, a  trade name for a correction fluid, was indeed used in the results sheets, but it will be up to the  constitutional court to determine why it was used.

MEC Chairperson Ansah: I wont resign. MEC Chairperson Ansah: I wont resign.
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She also said she will not heed calls to resign from UTM leader Saulos Chilima and Human Rights Defenders, saying: "There are laws concerning everything they are talking about. so for me, the right way is to allow the whole court process to complete".

 

“Was Tippex used for positive or negative purposes? That’s the court to find out,” a composed  Ansah said in a two-hour interview.

 

“Tippex is a trade name, it’s a correction fluid. You correct errors. That’s what the court will  determine. Was Tippex used for positive or negative purposes?”

 

The court in Lilongwe under five judges, will on June 26 start substantive hearing of the case in  which opposition parties MCP and UTM want the presidential result nullified, citing irregularities.

 

MEC declared Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika winner of the May 21 vote, beating MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, his former vice president, of UTM.

 

Ansah, who said she was leading a “normal life” and her blood pressure was normal despite the pressures of the dispute, said MEC—which managed the disputed elections—did not provide Tippex, nor has it done so in the past. “I was just surprised” with Tippex.

 

She hinted that probably election officials were “struggling to balance” the figures, but “ MEC did not oversee those problems.”

 

She said she did not advise the returning officials to use Tippex, but MEC trained them “to do the right things.”

 

The MEC Chair said most of the questions that have gripped public interest will be answered in court, including why one of the staffers transferred the name of Chilima from Lilongwe to Chizumulu Island As the matter was reported to Police for investigation.

She said she had not received any Police report so far because MEC was not an investigative body. “WE have been following up the matter, when Police found information, they will let us know and we shall be invited as witness.”

 

Ansah, a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal but seconded to MEC by the Judiciary Service Commission, answered some key points of the controversial court case as follows:

 

RIGGING CLAIMS

Ansah: There was no room for rigging because MEC made the whole process transparent. MEC is an elections management body and we worked together with all our biggest stakeholders to deliver a credible election. I look at the process we put in place and I don’t see any room for rigging. The process was watertight. It was almost impossible to rig. Monitors, observers and auditors were there. The figures are the right figures.

ON 147 COMPLAINTS

There was one complaint from MCP which we dealt with. Most complaints were from MPs. We dealt with them, we wrote back to all complainants. Yes, we had 147 queries. MEC sits as a tribunal, if complainants are not satisfied, they may appeal to the high court. Determinations by  MEC tribunal are appealable to the high court. But election results are not appealable at the  supreme court of appeal. The high court is the last and the highest court.

 

ON INJUNCTION STOPPING MEC FROM ANNOUNCING RESULTS

 

Yes, we stopped announcing the results waiting for a judicial review. An injunction stopped us from  announcing the results. We needed an order for recounting. MEC respects judgements of the  courts. But according to law, the results process cannot be stopped. MEC does not make its  own laws. Its procedures are guided by law. We work within the law, MEC adheres to law and  operates according to law.

ON TRANSPARENCY

The election process was transparent. We encouraged political parties to have their own tally  centres. Their monitors were trained by UNDP. We wanted their auditors to compare results with  us. We shared all results to all, including media.

 

ON RIGGING ALLEGATIONS BY CHILIMA

Yes, I responded to Chilima’s allegations saying I better leave matters in court. Those are  allegations. I have eight siblings, I never told any relative whom to vote for. The allegations are  completely unfounded. It’s absurd for anyone to say you didn’t want Dr. Chakwera to win. No, I didn’t say those words. Are Dr. Chilima and the human rights defenders both investigators, prosecutors and judges of me?

 

These must be handled by different people. Leave a judge to do his work. That’s mob justice. Our law does not provide for that. That is lawlessness. Wait for the court to decide. If they are convinced about irregularities, they should not have gone to court, we should have sorted this with them. If they are so convinced I am guilty, what are they doing at the court?.

 

Every case is different. They should have basis, they have surrendered authority to court, let them have patience to wait, for the court. When the court says because of irregularities the election was not properly done, yes, I will agree.

 

All I can say is that I updated the nation concerning elections, all complaints were responded to and you will see whether there were irregularities.

 

ON GETTING PHOTOGRAPHED WITH DPP CADETS

 

I was accosted and pictures were taken. I didn’t even look at their faces. Truth will set me free. Let me remove my glasses and my eyes will show love, hatred and wickedness. I stand by what I did according to law. My conscience is clear. I did everything according to law. I have never had a mind to rig. We took every necessary step to avoid rigging. There was nothing at all done under the carpet. The elections were transparent and credible.

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