Bill for MPs to decide 50+1 or First-Past-The-Post in electing Malawi leader

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.

Ministers Kondwani Nankhumwa (L)and Bright Msaka confers in Parliament .- Photo by  Govati Nyirenda

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.

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Tozer Tsono
Tozer Tsono
8 months ago

Mutharika and Parliament are at present acting as a caretaker government. The courts joined them at the hip to facilitate the outcome of the election case. The failure to carry out the courts rulings, is tantamount to abdication by resistance. Mutharika legally is not the president of Malawi because his 1st 5 year term ended already. He is now serving at the behest of the courts. The courts ruled that he and parliament carry out the rulings for all Malawians without prejudice. The only law for him to follow at this point is the courts ruling. Whoever fails to follow… Read more »

Hapana Mbejere
Hapana Mbejere
8 months ago

God bless my motherland Malawi. Keep it the land of peace. Bless our leaders each and everyone. That we should be free from fear of unknown. This political fear we are creating to disturbilize our sick economy. It’s my prayer that we should not be victims of democratic principles. We are to enjoy it’s fruits and unleash 80% rural masses in dire poverty. Politics and no politics, people are suffering out there in all aspects and our politician are busy pocketing sitiing allowances for the whole 3 week. It a shame the country lacks a tangible development agenda. We are… Read more »

mtete
mtete
8 months ago

This is tantamount to disregarding the ConCourt and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal rulings which maintained that majority means 50+1. It’s very difficult to understand why APM fears 50+1 when he has been bragging all along that he is going to win by landslide victory.

Jose
Jose
8 months ago

I think this government is wasting time for Malawians.Mwatembereredwadi.Kutha kwanu .Why tabling bill. 50 plus one is already in the constitution.It is clear majority votes.What do you want now.The supreme court ruled and ordered parliament to set date full stop.Now we are going to vote on 23rd June 2020.We do not need a bill of Fresh elections.The supreme court was clear that by elections or fresh elections will occur under sections 54,114 and 100.We can not be changing our constitution to set date for fresh elections or a by election for an MP each time such incident occurs.A Malawi mwatani… Read more »

Bobk Macheso
Bobk Macheso
8 months ago

The courts have said parliament enacted the 50+1 law. In otherwords, the old system of electing presidents was wrong. Therefore, in keeping with the courts rulings on this issue, parliament should just add the wording of the courts to the right section of the election law.
The courts words interpreting the law is the guide to follow. Don’t complicate issues.

Mabishopo ajoyina campaign

Let them vote for the date. There is no dictation in parliament. If it did not appear on the order paper, yesterday’s setting of the date was illegal and disputable. MCP we!

Joni
Joni
8 months ago

NO WAYS……..LET IT BE THE WAY THE CONSTITUTION IS…….MAJORITY MEANS 50%+1….Just consolidate it….do not tamper with it …PLEASEEEEE

Wakwithu
Wakwithu
8 months ago

It is very unfortunate that clueless APM wants the Constitution changed to suit his interest. The guy is very sick and at 82 he won’t live long! The court already interpreted the meaning of majority in the Constitution and anything to the contrary is illegal and baseless. Parliament yesterday passed a resolution that FPE should be conducted on 23June Amendments to the Constitution should be done after the FPE on 23June The current Constitution has so many loopholes and we can’t afford this piecemeal approach to amend it. APM should go BUT Malawi as a country will continue to exit… Read more »

Gas Machine Head
Gas Machine Head
8 months ago

This will not happen as it was already interpreted by the courts. The Tuesday debacle has further put this to rest

Yotu
8 months ago

Parliament can pass a bill that will quash the court decision. Courts dont make laws. They interpret laws.

timothy
timothy
8 months ago

Khaya tivota khaya sitivota dzanja likalemba khoma lalemba basi palibe chimasintha.

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