In fear of demo Malawi govt says ready with 50+1 electoral Bill

Malawi government is panicking as the clock ticks to December 13 a day set by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to hold nationwide protests to push for the processing of the Electoral Reforms Bills in Parliament and has said it will this Monday circulate the two remaining pieces of legislation, including the 50-plus-one electoral system which has generated excitement among some political parties and analysts in Malawi who have backed the practice, describing it as feasible.

Nankhumwa theLeader of the House seen here with Speaker Richard Msowoya: Bills will be circulated Monday

“We are circulating the 50-plus-one Bill and the remaining Bills [on Monday],” Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa said.

Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said Cabinet last Friday finalised the scrutiny of the proposed laws which is similar to what neighbouring Zambia uses in terms of 50 percent-plus-one.

Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera reaffirmed his party’s commitment to have the proposed electoral reforms bill deliberated upon and passed during the current sitting of Parliament.

He said the proposed bills if enacted predetermine a good future for the country which is currently faced with huge economic and social challenges.

“They have started to bring some of the bills and they are promising to bring all of them, but we have demanded that they give us a synopsis of what they intend to do and give us more time to scrutinise them and make amendments where necessary. We will not accept this kind of tokenism that government is trying to do,” Chakwera said.

He said there is need for an extension for the current sitting of Parliament so that members of Parliament truthfully serve their constituents through deliberation of the bills.

Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Grace Chiumia is on record saying President Peter Mutharika’s administration is not in support of the proposed electoral reforms, especially the proposal to above the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a rerun in the presidential election.

Previously, Zambia, just like Malawi, had been using the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) or winner-takes-all system to elect presidents, members of Parliament (MPs) and ward councillors.

Under the 50+1 electoral system, the triumphant contender is decided on the basis of getting a majority 50 percent plus one of the votes to win.

In Malawi, a simple majority is currently required for one to win the presidency without provision for a runoff election, a development some commentators have argued has tended to put leaders with no national mandate in office.

Out of the five general elections since the transition to multiparty democracy in 1993, three candidates have made it to State House with less than 50 percent of the popular vote.

In the first post-independence multiparty elections in 1994, Bakili Muluzi won the presidency with 47 percent although later, in his second term, won with 52 percent in 1999.

In 2004, the late Bingu wa Mutharika made it with 36 percent, but his approval rating surged to 66 percent five years later in 2009. His younger brother, Peter, in 2014 secured the presidency with about 36 percent of the votes cast.

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 percent+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.

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LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
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LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA

Sad we are now going to take these bills to parliament. The infidels are winning. But we will see how we sort out those of you who have been vocal on these matters. We know where you live and jive. You will pay for forcing us toe this line on Xmas eve. We in the DPP are not impressed with this at all. We will see how we move after these bills. We were in the process of setting up a Caliphate and definately this is very disturbing to this Mulhakholisation process. PAC! PAC! PAC! How many times have we… Read more »

Opinion
Guest
Opinion

Stupid Santana! The issue is not about MCP or DPP winning in 2019. It is about changing the way a president is elected in Malawi. We are trying to prepare a good future Malawi for our children. And who told you that all the people in the Southern region support and will vote for Mutharika and DPP come 2019? You seen not to believe that Malawians no longer want to vote for people from their ‘homes’! The results of the recent by-elections are just a taste of the bigger picture of 2019. Santana, you are a character who differs with… Read more »

santana
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santana

Mr Dangerous DPP, If the issue is about winning with popular vote then the MCP has goofed with this bill. Which votes can make Chakwera popular? From which areas in Malawi will Chakwera amass the votes to make him win? Which strong opposition party will give support to Chakwera in a re-run? The MCP has shot itself on the foot and PAC has helped to shoot. MCP will benefit nothing because it has no numbers to back it in a re-run. Let me ask this question to MCP: Among the following parties which one does it have hope that its… Read more »

Kaitano
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Kaitano

We have more people in Malawi who does not belong to any of these parties you have mentioned , they will vote as well.
Satana, moto wachuluka odala mphika watentha heavy uwu.

Kaitano
Guest
Kaitano

Is this Bill gazetted already Mr speaker sir?mumati mutani apa za ziii, ntchito zongofuna kukhutitsa mimba zanu basi osafuna kutumikila a Malawi, bring it on!!! shupiti mwatitaitsa nthawi.
we would be far talking of development.
Koma kukonda zaukambele mbele basi. Malawians are not the same, each day passing Malawians also getting changed each and every minute passing.
Bring it on! Bring it on!
After this we are coming again, tifuna tibwere ndi game ina, all those akukhudzidwa ndi nkhani ya Katangale, should be persecuted and pay back all monies Period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gogodasi
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Osasewera ndi kalotila. The vatican has supreme power, muziseweretsa asilamu omweo adyerawo pufuna kugulitsa dzikoli kwa alendo.

Dangerous DPP
Guest

Kodi the idiots in dpp did not know that democracy was about the majority ruling? Does it mean Pitala does not know that evenin America the president is elected based on the electoral college system? Hilary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral college vote. Al Gore to in 2000. Even in parliamentary system of government,minority governments do not survive. Ask Angela Merkel and Theresa May. EVEN Benjamin Netanyahu has to strike deals with smaller parties. Why do DPP want to continue with having a president with 30%? Simply because the southern region has more people. Stupid. The… Read more »

Suwedi
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Suwedi

Argue with substance as the first commentator has done

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