Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has branded President Peter Mutharika’s address on Friday during the opening of the 47th Session of Parliament in which he did not mention the issue of electoral reforms as ‘a public lecture’ on what ‘Parliament is all about’.
In his immediate response to the president address, Chakwera, while laughing said it was a very good lecture looking at what he said and what he didn’t say.
“It was a very good lecture, in terms of what was said and in terms of what was not said, first of all you have to understand he didn’t come to give state of the national address , nonetheless, he covered some things about the state of our nation” Chakwera said.
He also expressed shock on what he called ‘the loud silence’ on electoral reforms, despite promises that they would be brought to the House this time around.
“You have allowed silence on electoral reforms despite that his ministers went on record that they will be bringing the bills during this time, now you asking my opinion! I think he just meant to give a public lecture on what parliament is all about,” said Chakwera.
He said since the government assured everyone that they are honorable people they will hold them accountable to see if they can bring the electoral laws in parliament
Asked on what they intend to do if government does not bring to Parliament the much-touted electoral reforms, Chakwera said he could wait to hear an official position from the Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa as business resumes on Monday afternoon.
“I am waiting for an official word from the Leader of the House because he told us they were coming. If the President is silent and if that is an indication that this is their manner of doing of doing stuff, then the world must know that there is no reason to even give monies to do consultation, to do seminars, talking about what needs to happen for democracy to be consolidated in this country,” he said.
Traditionally, the president’s speech sets the tone for deliberations in the meeting of Parliament.
With about 18 months to go to the 2019 Tripartite Elections in Malawi, donors have stressed that they expect the newly-opened Parliament to deliberate on electoral reforms for the sake of the country’s democratic growth.
On accountability calls by the president, Chakwera challenged Muntharika that he himself is not accountable to his people who voted him into power by defying constitution to appear before the parliament and answer questions from his electorates representatives (MPs).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :