Malawi opposition to use private member’s bill for electoral reforms bill

Malawi opposition will introduce a Bill to discuss all electoral reforms during private members motion day on Thursday after government is reluctant to bring to parliament  all relevant electoral reforms Bills.

Opposition Members of parliament for polls reform bill

Opposition Members of parliament for polls reform bill

Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the official opposition in Parliament, which threatened to call for ‘peaceful’ civil disobedience if government would not table electoral reforms bill has made a new strategic move to have one of its lawmakers table the motion on poll reforms.

According to a ‘Notice of motion’ from the National Assembly, MP for Lilongwe South, Peter Dimba (MCP) will move the motion.

The notice says: “That following a report on wide consultations conducted by the Electoral Commission with major electoral stakeholders on electoral reforms, a copy which was circulated in this House, and the nee to give effect to the proposed reforms in order to ensure a free and fair electoral process and further, having drawan lessons from the chaotic 2014 tripartite elections as affirmed by the Malawi Electoral Commission’s 2014 Electoral report as well as the Malawi Human Rights Commission 2014 report, the House resolves that Private Member’s Bill be introduced as son as posible to amend the relevant electoral laws such as the local goverment elections Act in order to give effect to the proposed electoral reforms.

 Dimba will move the motion after MCP president  Lazarous Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition, said his party can bring forward poll reforms legislation as a private members motion.

MCP spokesperson Alekeni Menyani said his party wants the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to implement the proposal of moving MEC headquarters to Lilongwe and that announcements of results during a national election should be made at the constituency level.

 Some of the key reforms MCP wants discussed are the merit of shifting to 50-plus-one system from the current first-past-the-post and the amendment of electoral laws.

In the electoral reform recommendations, stakeholders, among others, recommended the amendment of the  Parliamentary  and  Presidential  Elections Act  and  the  Local  Government  Elections  Act to be integrated into a single Election Act.

The stakeholders also recommended  financing of political campaigns be legislated to ensure transparency and accountability.

Further, the reforms propose a law to allow better management of the transition from polling day to the inauguration of the President and Vice-President to ensure sufficient time for a petition to be resolved prior to inauguration.

The stakeholders also called for amendment of  Section 77 of the Constitution to establish the age of voter eligibility to be 18 years of age or older, on the day of the election and  on  polling as well as Section  67(1)  of  the  Constitution  for  general  elections  to  be conducted in September rather than May.

Other recommendations include empowering MEC to issue subsidiary legislation:  in line with international best practice, the MEC should be empowered to issue Regulations on its key areas of competence and the election process under the Electoral Commission Act.

Recommendations were to establish a specific offence for vote buying (whether by handouts or other means) should be included in the election laws, as well as the Corrupt Practices Act to deter vote buying and staggered announcement of results as follows; seven days for the President, 14 days for  National Assembly and 21 days for local councils.

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12 thoughts on “Malawi opposition to use private member’s bill for electoral reforms bill”

  1. Chambe says:

    What a bunch of power hungry monsters!They think if electoral reforms happen then it gives them an edge of winning in 2019. A prone looser since 1994 will still loose in spite of these reforms having been carried out.
    What significance will 50+1 bring to your chances? DPP candidate in fact will win; no doubt about this. Go and ask Tembo the guru of Malawi politics. He will tell you about his same hopes that turned out to be the worst disappointments of his life time.

  2. John Black says:

    What do we need these technical measures for? They should do this with the ATI bill!

  3. Telon says:

    @Che Wanimiliyon. You are displaying your total ignorance as is the case with most people from the south. By using the word almost u want to hide the truth. The North and Central have over half the population in Malawi so how can the South have almost or whatever population figures u want us to believe. Let MEC move to Lilongwe so that it is centrally located. MEC is not for Southerners only. Y r Southerners afraid of MEC moving to Capital City? We have had enough of MEC operating from the South. There will b no more travelling as there are courts in Lilongwe n MBC can ,for elections sake, temporarily move to Lilongwe. As for MTL it is everywhere in the country. So don’t bring in arguments full of faulty logic n very stunted thinking. You r heavily compromised,deceived,stunted,no aspirations n without dreams because u want things to be the same as always, no growth, no improvement but to always rule other regions.

  4. Abeat Minthu says:

    What will Malawi look like with DDP after 2019???? To Day is a mess What namn will then use. So sad

    1. Chambe says:

      You have to deal with the mess first before you can achieve excellence. Who thought Bingu could have turned around the economy in his first five years after being ruined by Muluzi?
      Today we have a government which has no any donor budgetary support but yet we have gone this far. We have all everything in the shops including fuel contrary to what we experienced in Bingu’s second term. Isn’t this amazing when world of budgetary donors is punishing us?Thus why most of us can not go to the streets to protest for any stupid reason given by any activist. Our country is on right direction. By 2020 we will be excellent kkkkkkk!

  5. Che Wanimiliyoni says:

    I wonder what sort of national governing party will MCP make if all we hear is to relocate this and that to Lilongwe as if we are in stone age period when telephones, emails and video conferencing weren’t around. The idea of shifting MEC to Lilongwe is not convincing because MEC relies on MTL, MBC and High/Supreme courts during elections all of which are in Blantyre. Secondly the Southern Region host almost 50% of Malawi population and if it moves to Lilongwe there would be a lot of travelling to the Southern Region costing MEC a lot of money.
    On shifting elections date to September I wonder why we Malawians forget so fast that we want to reopen a settled argument. In 1992 this argument arose when Kamuzu was trying to fix the referendum date and proponents of having the elections in winter (April, May, June and July) won because they contended that in August, September, October, and November campaign activities would disturb the farm preparation season and that there is too much rains in December, January, February and March making many country roads impassable.
    One contribution I want to propose is to have the election day moved to Thursday so that on Friday when results will not have started coming people can work normally and when the results start coming on Saturday and Sunday people can celebrate any how and on Monday people would be back to work.

  6. Central says:

    Editor, the title of this story seems in contradiction to the first statement of the story! Please check!

    Malawi opposition to use private member’s bill for electoral reforms bill AGAINST ” Malawi opposition will not introduce a Bill to discuss all electoral reforms during private members motion day on Thursday….”

  7. Maunits says:

    Please go ahead we need the electoral reforms please could have happened yesterday. A galu awa akuopa kugwa chagada pa May 20 2019.

  8. Kwachaaaaaaaaaa says:

    MCP, do not be fooled. Whatever mode of election DPP has and will have an upper hand. Ndale simudazidziwebe anthuni?

  9. Mbunde says:

    A Chilima lankhulalanitu APA,mesa ndinu mumajijilika ndi ma reforms

    1. ndatopa says:

      Please be able to distiguish parliament debate and other reforms.This has nothing to do with the VP.Please learn to comment on a sensible manner.

  10. Mbunde says:

    Saulos your’re at a forefront advocating reforms now its your turn,wake up from a slumber.

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