Malawi to hold three-tier polls in 2014: Tripartite Elections Bill approved

Malawi Parliament on Wednesday passed the Tripartite Elections Bill .

The bill will enable the country to hold three elections—the presidential, parliamentary and local government—in 2014.

Members of Parliament including Thyolo Thava parliamentarian, Lifred Nawena who, at first, was against the idea voted for the Bill saying councilors would help their respective wards in socio-economic development which the electorate demand.

Announcing the results, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda said out of 148 Members of Parliament that were present in the Chamber all of them voted for the bill.

“Honourable Members, I have the results now and  out of 148 Members of Parliament who are present in the Chamber none has voted against nor abstained his or her vote. All 148 votes have voted for this Bill,” Chimunthu Banda said.

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Bill approved

Conspicuously missing during the voting process were Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful, John Tembo and United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential aspirant, Atupele Muluzi.

Since the Bill was tabled in Parliament, parliamentarians have given their full support to have the Bill passed in order to pave way for tripartite elections to take place come 2014.

Contributing to the Bill, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Nicholas Dausi hinted the need for passing the Bill, saying people were eagerly waiting for councilors’ elections as they help parliamentarians in developing their respective constituencies.

“Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to support the Bill because once councilors have been elected, we will work with them to enhance socio-economic development of the country. People are eagerly waiting for tripartite elections to usher in councilors,” Dausi said.

Dr. Clement Chiwaya contributing on similar debate said councilors would help parliamentarians in so many ways such as implementing development projects through district assemblies and taking people’s needs to government through the same local assemblies.

“The need to have councilors can’t be overemphasized as they will be very helpful in implementing the development projects in our respective constituencies by the help of district assemblies,” Dr. Chiwaya explained.

Minister of Constitutional Affairs who also doubles as Attorney General, Ralph Kasambara explained that there was need for civic education among voters in the country to sensitize them on tripartite elections to avoid voter apathy as well as to reduce null and void votes that result from poor voting procedures.

“Since the country will hold tripartite elections in 2014, there is need to have civic education among voters to equip them with knowledge on the matter and avoid voter apathy as well as to

The country only had councillors’ elections once in 2000 since multi-party democracy was ushered in 1994.

Former minister of information, Patricia Kaliati called for more “civic education” for the populace on the first ever three-tier elections.

Since the dawn of multi-party democracy in 1993, Malawi has only held LGEs once in 2000 which were marred by poor voter turnout estimated at as low as 11 percent.

Malawi Parliament

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