The quasi-religious governance watchdog, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has postponed its planned march to Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe and petition President Peter Mutharika over the missing Electoral Reforms Bills on Parliament’s agenda to Thursday this week.
PAC was expected to march on Tuesday but its executive director Robert Phiri said Lilongwe City Council management advised them to move to Thursday when they presented a letter seeking permission to march.
“We are meeting them on Monday to discuss the matter but the march is on Thursday,” Phiri said.
PAC which comprises the leadership of the Catholic Church, Protestants and Muslim, said it will present another petition to Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya to implore him to prioritise the Electoral Reforms Bills when they are presented in Parliament for debate.
The grouping’s position comes against a background of leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera threatening a boycott of National Assembly proceedings if the proposed laws are not taken to Parliament.
Two civil society organisations—Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep)—are also lobbying members of Parliament to boycott.
The Electoral Reforms Bills include an amendment of Section 80(2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act proposing 50+1 percent majority in presidential election and an amendment of Section 81 (3) of the Constitution for swearing-in of the President and Vice-President to be done after 30 days.