DPP demands unjustifiable, political commentators

Some Malawian political commentators have described demands by the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to have a fresh vote on the position of leader of opposition in Parliament as unjustifiable and only aimed at bringing instability into the House.

The blue party is piling pressure on the speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda to change the status by giving the position to its leader Peter Mutharika.

Currently, the position is being held by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President John Tembo.

The party is arguing that its request is in accordance with the law which allows the speaker of Parliament to declare leader of opposition from a party that has the largest number of Members of Parliament.

Peter Mutharika: Demands to be Leader of Opposition

Following the change on the political landscape in April this year, the DPP became an opposition party and has just over 30 MPs as opposed to less than 30 for the country’s oldest political party, MCP.

However, according to one of the country’s renowned political commentators Dr Blessings Chinsinga, the former ruling party has it wrong and its demand is unjustifiable.

“This is just something that will bring instability in the National Assembly because the law is quite clear on the position of the leader of position,” he said.

“Their timing is not appropriate because the law says the leader of opposition is only elected after a country has undergone the general elections. And in our case, we have not gone through any elections and there is no way the house can elect a new leader of opposition when there is already one.”

Another political and social commentator Isaac Chirwa said the DPP is “technically dead” and is trying every tactic to ensure that it remains afloat.

“The party is technically dead. Losing over 50 Members of Parliament is not easy and its leaders are trying everything to show that the party is still in action which is not the case,” he observed.

Apart from the tussle for the leader of opposition post, the seven-year old party is also heaping pressure on the speaker to invoke Section 65 of the constitution so that MPs who defected to the ruling Peoples Party (PP) must be kicked out.

However, on this a number of institutions including the Malawi Law Society are backing the party while calling upon the office of the Speaker to ensure that the constitution is upheld by invoking the
anti-defection law.

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