Blackout interrupts Malawi parliament proceedings: Tripartite Elections Bill tabled

Parliamentary proceedings were on Thursday interrupted due to electricity blackout.

The electricity black out was a perfect reminder to the legislators some of the pertinent problems the country is going through to which they need the House to find a lasting solution.

Darkness fell in the National Assembly chamber  and members of parliament on the opposition side started shouting in order to show disappointment on what had happened chanting ‘PP yanyamuka’ putting the blame on government for the power cut, amid laughter from them.

On the other hand, some from the government benches were heard responding to the ridicule from the opposition benches.

The Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda on behalf of Electricity Suppliers Corporation of Malawi (Escom) apologized to the House for the power blackout.

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Apologised

“The Power line from Nkula falls that supplies electricity to the whole of Lilongwe was affected and hence other parts of Lilongwe were facing blackouts too, including this august house,” Chimunthu Banda explained.

Opposition legislatures continued scornful remarks while some from the government benches were heard responding to the ridicule from the opposition benches.

Parliament later resumed sitting  and debated the controversial Tripartite Elections Bill following the adoption of a Legal Affairs Committee report by the House Tuesday afternoon.

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

Most lawmakers who contributed to the bill , supported it.

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

Debate on the bill will continue on Friday morning.

Since the dawn of multiparty 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.

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