Public Affairs Committee (PAC) on Thursday march in the Capital Lilongwe to present the petition to President Peter Mutharika and Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya at Parliament building demanding the tabling and passing of Electoral Reforms Bills.
The quasi-religious grouping has given government seven days to table Elector0
PAC, which is demanding commitment on the Bills after Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu pledged to table the same this month, has threatened to call for national demonstrations if government fails to honour the ultimatum.
In the petition, the governance watchdog said President Mutharika’s administration failure to table the electoral reforms bill is tantamount to be “a government characterised by lip-services.”
The petition reads: “Such deliberate disregard of tabling the reforms is bent on testing the patience of Malawians which continue to tun thin.”
PAC has remined President Mutharika that governments are given power to ensure that the pursuit of justice, rule of law and integrity are upheld and sustained.
“Failure to table the widely consulted reforms constitutes lack of integrity and respect for the will of Malawians. It is for this reason that we believe in your assertion as DPP presidential candidate ; ‘We in the DPP believe that if a Government does not have integrity, it has no right to govern’ (DPP manifesto, page 6),” reads the petition.
The organisation has asked President Mutharika to ensure that the Electoral Reforms Bill are completed during the current siiting of Parliament.
They appealed to Mutharika to have Electoral Reforms Bill “tabled, debated and passed now rather than later.”
They warned Mutharika: “If this is not done, it may reflect badly on your administration.”
The PAC decision to petition the President and the Speaker coincided with threats by leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera to boycott 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 proceedings.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :