CSOs say increase of constituencies to 228 politically dangerous and lethal to economy

Local governance organizations, the Pan African Civic Educators Network ( PACENET ) and National Elections Systems Trust (NEST), have described the creation of 35 additional constituencies for the purpose of the 2025 General Elections as unrealistic, politically dangerous and lethal to Malawi’s economy.

PACENET Acting Executive Director Olive Mpina and NEST Executive Director, Unandi Banda, in a statement they issued on Friday, argue the economy is currently on deathbed; hence, it may not have the capacity to support the holding of General Elections in the distant future.

Mpina and Banda say the proposal is unrealistic and damaging economically, saying the economy is not only small, but fragile too and with the additional 35 parliamentary seats.

“Sustaining those seats means that the taxpayer in Malawi will be overburden, but benefit nothing in the end. Our view is that the MEC has not done a political economy analysis before arriving at its decision,” they argue.

They say it is sad to note that Malawi is failing to draw lessons from other countries that are doing better economically and politically.

“For example, through a comparison between Malawi and its immediate neighbour Zambia, we note that Zambia is much bigger than Malawi in terms of geographical size as well as the size of its economy which is more vibrant than that of Malawi and yet Zambia only has 156 constituencies. So, the question is who does the MEC want to please by creating additional 35 parliamentary seats?” Mpina and Banda ask.

PACENET and NEST have since recommended the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to reconsider the decision to increase the number of constituencies in Malawi for the sake of Malawi‘s fragile economy, stressing that although democracy is expensive, the common sense should prevail at times.

“Parliament should consider rejecting this report when it’s presented for adoption in Parliament unless the intentions are to create additional seats to be contested by female candidates. The civil society and the media should help sensitize the masses on the political and economic negative consequences of the decision by MEC to increase number of constituencies by 35. Finally, we lobby parliament and political parties to reject MEC decision unless the additional number of constituencies are additional seats to be contested by female candidates,” concludes the statement.

MEC Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
6 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alie Snakie
Alie Snakie
28 days ago

Jealousy nation, do your research properly prior to accusations against MEC over additional constituencies

Kharupa
Kharupa
29 days ago

Ma issues ngati awawa ngofunika sustained street protests mpaka the powers that be amve kuti anthu akwiya ndi proposed increase ya ma constituencies.

Russie
Russie
1 month ago

There’s no justification, whatsoever to have more parliamentarians in this dying economy. If women are to provide Charity work to Malawi while in parliament, it would somehow be understandable. If they shall milk the Treasury as others are doing, there’s no justification for an addition.100 parliamentarians would be more than enough to make laws for Malawi. Development is for councillors.

Phangela
Phangela
1 month ago

Indeed this is dangerous politically and absurd economically. Why should Malawi have more constituencies than UK, Zambia etc when our country is geographically six times smaller and our economy even pale compared to them? We know MEC is trying to favour some region and party in power. Please drop it!

Cosmas Chikweni
Cosmas Chikweni
1 month ago

I thought the argument was economically sound but it’s conclusion isn’t like that. I have a question will the female candidate going to fund the cost for holding elections?? Will the country’s economic muscle going to rise because women have contested? MEC gives freedom to both make and female to contest those who are capable of delivering the development agenda they win I have seen females winning the elections. So I want to say the condition they have brought as their concluding remarks is unsubstantial. Will the female Parliamentarians going to receive less payments that they can say it’s economic?… Read more »

Banda
Banda
1 month ago

Countries such as UK have 1 MP for every 100,000 citizens others like Canada it is 120,000. Malawi with such small geographic area, small tax base can ill afford the proposed number of MP’s. Rediculous that MP’s with such high transportation allowances cannot deal with a larger constituency. Malawi currently has 43 to may MP’s and they wish to add more. Donors must stop supporting such waste and corruption.

Read previous post:
Chinese community donates K1.8m cheque to Department of Immigration

The Chinese Community in Malawi has donated the sum of K1.8 Million kwacha to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship...

Close