Implement Section 65, UK tells Malawi

Britsh High Commissioner Michael Nevin has appealed to Members of Parliamentary implement the controversial anti-defection law Section 65 of Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

The High Commissioner was speaking on Thursday during a two-day post May 20 Tripartite Elections conference held in Lilongwe.

Nevin said the Section 65 of the Constitution, which bars Members of Parliament from defecting to other parties, should be respected or removed from the Constitution to avoid creating the confusion that has been associated with it over the years.

British High Commissioner in Lilongwe, Michael Nevin

British High Commissioner in Lilongwe, Michael Nevin

Said Nevin: “In Malawi, Section 65 forbids floor-crossing. However, in the previous Parliament, and those before it, Section 65 was not implemented. This undermines the principle and primacy of the rule of law.

“So it is preferable perhaps that Section 65 is either fully adhered to or it is scrapped to avoid damaging the rule of law.”

He urged Malawians to desist from voting candidates basing on party lines rather than the quality and policies of candidates.

“It is not clear whether a voter votes for a candidate because of the candidate’s personal qualities, or they are voting for a candidate because they belong to a particular party,” he said.

He also spoke against the use of state resources for campaigning.

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