MPs set mandatory Malawi Presidential question time in Parliament

President Peter Mutharika would be forced to answer questions in parliament should members of parliament pass a new standing order that compels presidents to do so on pertinent issues affecting the country.

Mutharika expected in parliament to answer questions for one hour and 30 minutes

This follows the proposal by the Legal Affairs Committe  to suggest a day and duration of the Head of State’s appearance to enable the House’s Stanaing Orders to be consistent with the Republican Constitution.

The Constitution under Section 89 (4) , the President is required to appear in Parliament  for questions time.

Chairman of Legal Affairs Committee of parliament Maxwell Thyolera  said they introduced the new  standing order 68  to bring President to the House for Question time on a Wednesday “at least once in each meeting of the Assembly or by a resolution of the House..

Thyolera said a maximum of  five questions would be taken in each sitting day.

“The question time for the President would be one hour 30 minutes,” Thyolela said.

Extension of question time shall not be permitted , according to the Standing Order 68 (5 and 6).

However, five supplementary questions on the original questions will be allowed but “will not be used to introduce matters not included in the original answer to the questions,”

Unlike the session when Cabinet Ministers answer questions  from legislators, the President would enjoy “a modicum of respect” and protection, the new standing orders stipulates.

Currently, the standing orders allows a sitting president to delegate to his ministers during parliament’s question time on Wednesdays.

Mutharika delegated twice to the Leader of the House to answer questions mostly filed by Leader of Opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera.

Former president Bakili Muluzi faced the then Leader of Opposition Gwanda Chakuamba in an exciting and historic question time in the 1990s.

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O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O If anybody still had doubts kuti ma MP athu mitu yawo siigwira, now its confirmed. Nanga inu . . . . . . Difficult as it has been to bring these people (we mistake for presidents) out of their comfort zones (kuphanga) to take questions or make clarifications, is it not a cause for celebration that the MPs have made such a good proposal? . . . Now, having made such a brilliant proposal, how does one dilute the proposal to almost nothing, hence defeat the very intended purpose? . . . Who doesn’t know that more often than… Read more »
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