Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has vowed to continue boycotting parliamentary proceedings until the Constitutional Court gives a verdict on the politically charged presidential election case.
In an interview, Chakwera said he does not recognize President Peter Mutharika as the Head of State following serious allegations of vote rigging and presidential election result manipulation in his favour by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
“We are challenging the leadership of the country in court. Until the determination on the matter is made, I will stay away from parliament,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera was supposed to take over as Leader of Opposition in Parliament following his party’s good showing during the parliamentary elections.
He however took the oath of office as member of parliament for Lilongwe but refused to say whether he gets monthly salary and other benefits as a legislator, asking the reporter to go and check with parliament.
Chakwera said his trip to South Africa was sponsored in his capacity as president of MCP not as Leader of Opposition as others were alleging.
Robin Lowe, an MCP legislator is the acting Leader of Opposition.
Political scientists Ernest Thindwa and George Phiri have since said there is nothing wrong Chakwera is doing in staying away from the parliamentary proceedings.
“One does not only need to be in parliament to work as a member of parliament. I am sure he is performing his duties for his constituency even though he is not entering parliament,” said Phiri.
Thindwa said Chakwera is playing a political psychological warfare with the government and the ruling party, saying he does not want to portray himself as the loser in the presidential poll.
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