20 MPs to return to DPP: Section 65 to be pursued -Mutharika

The former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it will welcome back about 20 lawmakers who left the party to join the governing People’s Party (PP).

Acting president of DPP, Peter Mutharika, said the “returnees” will be welcomed back in the party benches when Parliament will start sitting this month in Lilongwe.

Speaker of Parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda, summoned Malawi lawmakers for the 3rd meeting of the national assembly in the 43rd session of parliament from November 12.

Mutharika said his party is sticking to its guns to “vigorously pursue” all Member of Parliament (MP) who won on its ticket but sits with government in the House.

Peter Mutharika: Section 65 should be applied without fail

He said the returnees will be removed from the list [of those whose seats have been targeted].“About 20 MPs are coming back to DPP. We will have them during the forthcoming parliament,” said Mutharika.

According to parliamentary records  DPP had 112 seats, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) won 28, United Democratic Front (UDF) claimed 17 seats, and Aford has two, while defunct Maravi and Mafunde won a seat each.

Independents had the second largest number of seats at 32. The majority of independents joined the then ruling DPP, swelling its figure in Parliament to 145.

But most of the MPs have now defected to the governing PP.

Mutharika said  as parliament reconvenes, “it is the sincere hope of the DPP that the principles and foundations of our democracy will be followed and that section 65 of the Constitution will be applied without fail. “

“The DPP calls upon the Executive, in the spirit of true democracy, to encourage the Speaker of the National Assembly to make his ruling on the matter.

“The DPP would like to remind President Joyce Banda that she ascended to the position by virtue of the constitution and that she will be held accountable if section 65 of the constitution is not applied,”  DPP said in a statement.

The 193-member house, previously dominated by the former ruling DPP, passed several “bad laws” last year which earned fierce criticism from locals and international government who support most of the country’s development agenda.

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