Malawi government is set to table electoral bills for Parliament to decide whether to use 50+1 percent system of electing the country’s President of what has always been used First-Past-The-Post system.
According to Constitution Amendment Bill Number 2 of 2020 seen by Nyasa Times as published in the Malawi Gzaette Supplement of June 8 2020, government will proposes to the House two alternative systems for determining the winner in presidential elections, namely; First-Past-The-Post system and the majority (50+1) system to consolidate acceptability and legitimacy of the elected head of State.
“The Bill gives Members of Parliament the liberty to determine whether they want Malawi to maintain the previously used First-Past-The-Post system or change to the 50+1 as determined by the Court.”
The Order Paper [ the official agenda for Parliamentfor each day] shows the Electoral Bills – Constitutional Amendement – will be tabled on Wednesday afternoon.
If the House adopts 50+1 system where the President shall be elected by a majority of more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast through direct, universal and equal suffrage, there is a proposed amendment for rerun where such majority is not obtained by any candidate in the first poll.
A second poll shall be held within 30 days after declaration of the results in which the candidates who obtained the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the first poll shall be the only candidates.”
In the electoral bills, government also proposes that President-elect and First Vice President –elect should be sworn into office after expiry if 15 days from declaration of elections results but before the expiry if 30 days.
The bills will be tabled in the House on Wednesday after parliament on Tuesday endorsed June 23 as the date for the presidential election re-run, a week earlier than initially ordered by the courts, which annulled President Peter Mutharika’s narrow election victory last year due to irregularities.
Alliance for Democracy (Aford) only Member of Parliament, Yeremiah Chihana, who moved the motion for the fresh elections to be held on June 23, said the court ruling “clearly states that parliament must set a date for the elections”.
But Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa said the private member’s motion was irregular and an act of ambush by the opposition tabling it when it was not on Order Paper and on the day of government business.
The announcement of the new date was received by wild celebrations from the opposition benches singing “Tivotanso!”
President Peter Mutharika will square off against the main opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera who challenged his victory, in last year’s elections which court nullified citing “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :