Groups demand 50 + 1 law to elect Malawi President

A group of civil society organisations have added their weight to calls for amending the electoral law on electing a Head of State from the current first-past-the-post and adopt a 50 per cent plus one law to ensure that the winner of presidential elections enjoyed majority support.

Timothy Mtambo and Trapence presenting the petition calling for electoral reforms

Timothy Mtambo and Trapence presenting the petition calling for electoral reforms

The groups  delivered a 100-day ultimatum to government calling for financial and electoral reforms.

Scores of concerned citizens gathered in Lilongwe to present a petition to Lilongwe City Assembly as the protesters also demanded a change in electoral laws ,

Soon after the 2014 elections—which were characterised by challenges including inadequate resources, late delivery of electoral materials at polling stations and delay in tallying of results—various stakeholders also called for reform of the country’s electoral laws.

One of the protest organisers, Gift Trapence, who is the executive director for the Centre of the Development of People, said they are demanding the speedy implementation of electoral laws that would require the elected president to get more than 50% of the votes cast.

Where in a general election there is no candidate  who gather 50 percent, there should be a run off for the top two candidates to determine the winner.

“We have given them a hundred days to respond to our petition,” Trapence said.

Currently Malawi follows the “first past the post” principle, which enables a presidential candidate with fewer than 50% of the votes to win the elections.

President Peter Mutharika won the 2014 presidential elections with 36.4%.

“Malawians note that the circumstances around May 20 Tripartite elections clearly demonstrate inadequacy of the electoral laws to safeguard the right to vote, ‘legitimacy to govern’ or the upholding of the elections of a leader by the majority.

“Malawians are of the view that free, fair and credible elections cannot be achieved by the current state of laws and mechanisms of administering elections in Malawi. Malawians are hence concerned with government continued failure to act on or drive the electoral reform agenda including the proposed 50+1 electoral system as a matter of government’s priority,” reads the petition CSO’s presented.

The CSOs have recognised that 50 per cent plus one rule guarantees the leader acceptable, popular, majoritarian mandate.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa said government supports discussions on the electoral reforms whose continuity has already been approved by President  Mutharika.

Similar peaceful demonstrations also took place in northern city of Mzuzu and Karonga district in northern Malawi.

Public officers who received the petitions assured the protesters they would deliver them to the office of the president and Cabinet in time for action.

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40 thoughts on “Groups demand 50 + 1 law to elect Malawi President”

  1. Anonymous says:

    50+1 my foot, it doesnt change the fact that i will still vote for DPP, i love DPP government so much

  2. Malawian says:

    It is a good idea however the implementation of which would have huge financial and psychological implications. It would entail conducting two elections in a sequence, the first to remove the weakest links and the second for the first two best to battle it out to pick the ultimate winner.

  3. christopher says:

    Stupd Kabwira and Timothy Mtambo, dis z nt ur houses Plizzzzz dat u cn bring in ur stupd Idias expctng malawian 2 adopt thm, go and impriment those stupd Idias in ur houses wit ur kids nt wit us. Kabwira sunasiyebe, mchifukwa chake kachibwenzi kako kanatha pano ukufuna kugwetsa munthu wamulungu kodi mkazi wake amaziwa?

  4. jurry says:

    it buffles me why did de demos went on even they (organisers) heard that so many pple were dying the same time they were doing this. was not that reason enough to feel for the pple? which pple do u represent?

  5. sd says:

    There shud b a Law in Malawi where for NGOz to present their petion or march they shud b first b endorsed by 50+1 of the electrorate in Malawi failing which no demonstrations R legal without 50+1 endorsement of the electrorate

    1. Sd man or woman, inu mulibe nzeru. Better yet, you should go and learn what this article is all about.
      I fear for your ignorance.

  6. ANKOLO says:


  7. Jamie says:

    Forum ya atumbuka. Umongoneratu commet kuti ndi mbwenumbwenu. Anthu opanda manyazi. Why cant you keep quite. U think the who country can be shaken by ur comments. Zitsiru.


    50%+1 cannot have any positive bearing on the overall outcome of our presidential poll. Malawi? It may, in fact, worsen perceptions of marginalization in some communities.
    Let’s reiterate what we’ve said elsewhere: 50%+1 is worse for us because it predicts a Southerner becoming president every time you use it.
    Actually, if we map the country’s tribal-regional-cultural matrix the odds for a Southerner winning the poll are at over 56% even in the most unlikely event that the Chewa and the Tumbuka rallied behind one candidate. Guess what, Mr Mtambo? 50%+1 cuts the probability of winning the presidency for a Northern candidate from a 30% to around 8%!!! Rethink your position, friends.
    But then, again, we may not need 50%+1 because, as per ZBS, our friends from the North have now presented APM with the long-awaited Petition on Federalism. What follows next is anybody’s guess.

  9. God Hear Me says:

    Please can somebody rescue me? I do not understand what was the purpose of the demonstrations?
    Koma ine now I wish ndikanakhala kuti si MTUMBUKA NDITHU

    MCP Gurus were present . PP gurus were present and previously I would not understand why?

    So the demonstrations included political issues. These guys are confused and confusionists.
    Does 50+ 1 law have any thing to do with Nacgate?

    Do you mean if we elect leaders based on 50+1 Law will help us curb cashgate or whatever ….gate in government?

    I think MCP and PP really funded these demonstrations they only used nacgate to find entry point shame on us TUMBUKAZ.

  10. Kalanga says:

    A 50 + 1 electoral law z nt there to punish the ruling party! Sometimes I wonder how irresponsible some supporters could be! Critical thinking really saves! Mind you even your so called children would benefit in the future.

    At the moment pple know that dpp z ruling and no argument for that! If u remember even the current president noted during campaign period that the laws need reformation to suit the current democratic trends!

    But supporters believe otherwise! No matter we have had nepotic leaders since we accepted democracy! The problem z with supporters and not our leaders. We make them kings when in actual sense they are not kings!

    Shame on us!

  11. Yes we need it and Federal government as well. We have the southern region that contributes very little to the economy of Malawi and yet they reap more than they sow. Both the central region and northern region should take this seriously. Southerners are just lazy people who only know prostitution and stealing. The prisons are full of these people.

  12. uMbuyazi KaZiguda Enukweni says:

    kodi 50+1 imayenda bwanji? Nanga muja zinalili Peter anawina ndi 30 something percent. president anali dyoce banda amene anali pa nambala 3. kukanakhala re-run kuti tipeze 50+1 president akanakhala ndani between the first election and the re-run? akanakhala woluza yemwe uja wa pa number 3? ndizomveka bo bo zimenezo?

    1. ujeni says:

      Iwe Mlhomwe, Mutharika and Chakwera would have to fight for the re-run. PP, UDF and other supporters will have to vote for the two remaining candidates only. Wamva iwe nyapapi

  13. clement says:

    Don’t deliver those nonsense to the president pliz.These stupid so called few CSO”s doesn’t know what they want and its the power of ufiti,njiru,sataniki etc.Well,even if to adopt 50+1 do you think DPP can be shaken? You Mtambo,Trapence,Sembereka, Kwataine,Ng’oma etc lf you are doing these just to bring confunsions in Malawi,you will regret one day.Did you espect pple to ignore your demos? Think twice guyz before pple get tired of you.

  14. Mwaonatu says:

    50+1 mwanenayo ndiyabwino zedi. Apa ndipamene mdzaone kuti DPP 2019 sizocheza. In fact there will be no re-run as I can guarantee you that we shall give you more than 60% from the word go. Tsono aja amapanga phokoso pa net ino aja nkumati akugwetsa boma ali kuti? Aphwanga mwachepa musamalimbane ndi mwana mulhomwe. Inu osadabwa anganya akafuna mtsogoleri amapita kumwera kukachita porch? A chi na JB, BJ etc. Mudzaona 2019. Inu mumayesa tikuletsani kuyenda muziti takuphwanyirani ufulu. Lerotu mukuzipukuta opanda tissue paper a chi na Jessie ndi anzanu. Koma china nchina Jessie akuchititsa manyazi chipani cha MCP.

  15. acn says:

    You Guys y’r indeed activitists. Your really represent the voiceless. Kip it up!

  16. gogo says:

    Chakwera is behind this. Why only central. Pastor you are spiritually finished. Nobody will trust you any more.

    1. Chief says:

      Iweso ndi nyapapi eti.

  17. KALIKENE says:

    We Shouidn’t Hunt What We Can’t Kill. Even Ballponit Pens We Depend From Donors, Can We Manage Runoff?

    1. Salvador says:

      Its that kind of thinking that prevents us from delivering better services to our population. Ngati ku malawi kulibe ndalama mukuona ngati ndata idachokwera kuti..nanga mawu oti cashgate adochokwera kwayani..the petition is reasonable and achievable..where there is will there is a way

  18. Lawyers says:

    . The term “federalism” is also used to describe a
    system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority
    and constituent political units (such as
    states or provinces). Federalism is a
    system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to
    govern is shared between national and
    provincial/state governments, creating
    what is often called a federation.

  19. Lawyers says:

    Federation too. We are sick and tired of regionalism and tribalism.




  21. Machete says:

    A tumbuka tsopano

  22. Mkwaso says:

    It wasn’t APMs or DPPs fault to emerge victorious, that’s what the current laws and constitution say the same way your JB assumed office. You cannot be just changing laws because they are not favouring you in certain situations. Its not the first time to happen and it will not be the last. Accept that you are just frustrated political dogs masquerading as CSOs. Genuine CSO activist ndi Kapito, period!

  23. Kanyimbi says:

    Mwawona kuti Deno yanu inali yopanda ntchito ndiye wayamba za 50 + 1? Wakutuma akuchitisani manyazi.

  24. Greencardless Malawian says:

    Thanks, it looks like the opposition parties are dragging their feet saying out some of these things

  25. Wizeman Paul says:


  26. Fathara says:


  27. Patriot says:

    I support the move mister speaker sir.
    Mbuzi za chilomwe zikana izi malingana ndi kuzolowera kubera ma voti.
    Ndiye mwaona Mulungu wakwiya nanu coz ma districts onse watchula Pitala (Phalombe, Mj, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Blantyre, Rumphi, Karonga etc) ndi ma districts munabera ma voti aja.
    Tikapemphelera dzikoli, all those who took part in the stealing of votes MUST Repent to appease God.

  28. Big brain says:

    Adziwa liti za 50 plus chamba eti

  29. ironmonkey says:

    I agree with 50+1 but the truth is that the north in form of C SOs is hoping to use this to somehow get into power.
    Let’s take a step back and deeply look at the voting patterns for the previous elections. Whilst most people voted regionally you will also notice another pattern. Christians voted regionally but Moslems voted along religious lines. Which meant though districts like Salima are in the centre, they voted for a Moslem also though JB comes from Zomba and Mangochi , people voted for a fellow Moslem. This is a pivotal is in the 50+1 vote.
    Parties can get away with the 50+1 also using the religious vote. Shd MCP want to win it could factor a vice who is a Moslem and get away with it. Similarly with the south.

  30. BigMan says:

    Barking, barking, barking and barking some more…. for nothing!

  31. Ngungudya says:

    Well done guys for the gusture, thought some think no work done, kalowa mkhutu kayala, big pple will still fight to the end.

  32. Mwama Du says:

    So Karonga participated! This was one of genuine reasons for demonstrations. Manganya fwefweee, manyazi bwa?

  33. l says:

    There is a national disaster and instead of you fools telling us how you intend to assist you are bloody power playing. This shows who you really are you BASTARDS.

  34. supuni says:

    Confused idiots! Much as we need electoral reform, including this in your demo demands was just to save face! Shame on the gay promoting Trapence and his flat head Mtambo!

  35. opportunist says:

    I support that

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