Opposition People’s Party’s (PP) decision to opt out of the October 7 by-elections has culminated into a war of words with the Malawi Electoral Commission with the former party claiming the latter has hidden agenda over its decision to meet party officials.

The Commission summoned the party’s acting spokesperson Kenneth Msonda, its 3rd Deputy Secretary General Irene Chikuni and party Vice President for the South Brown Mpinganjira on Monday to a round table meeting over the party’s decision.

“Be informed that the Commission is summoning all the mentioned persons (Messrs Kenneth Msonda and Brown James Mpinganjira) in the letter to attend this meeting and is not taking any excuse for failing to show up.

“Be informed that your colleague, Ms Irene Chikuni has confirmed attendance and will be accompanied by Mr Isaac Nyakamera. The Commission expects you to comply with this order to attend the meeting at 10.00am on Monday, 11th October, 2014. It is in the interest of the Commission to resolve matters with electoral stakeholders at a round table but if pushed to the extreme, we will resort to other means,” reads the latter dated 11th October, 2014 signed by Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga.

But reacting to the development Msonda described the Mec summon as unfortunate and suspicious.

“Kindly be informed that none of the said PP National Executive Committee (Nec) member (s) is attending your so called meeting. The commission has no legal and ethical basis to force or threaten anyone to attend any meeting (s) organised or arranged by Mec unless you have a hidden agenda.

“It is very unfortunate that some people would like to throw their integrity to the dogs for whatever reasons the devil knows. You don’t force nor threaten people to attend your meeting, unless you have a hidden agenda,” said Msonda.

Mec’s insistence on the meeting, he said, raises eyebrows. He challenged that “if the Commission feels injured by our press statement which announced the party’s decision on the by-elections, let it seek legal redress. We shall meet in Court where we shall present our evidence.”

He added: “We have other important engagements to attend to rather than wasting our time attending a meeting whose agenda has no basis. You may wish to be reminded that people are still bitter out there following your failure to resolve the [May 20] electoral impulse.

Some of us are wondering if some people are capable enough to head a sensitive and important institution like Mec.”

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