Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has maintained that they will not take up a Leader of the Opposition role in parliament or respond anything from government as opposition because they are challenging the re-election of President Peter Mutharika, saying he won the May 21 elections by fraud.
MCP Chief Whip Lobin Lowe said the party was in the House after boycotting President Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address, because they want to pass a provisional budget.
“We have come here to discuss and pass the provisional budgets, as a party. Let me state clearly here that we do not recognise [Peter Mutharika] as legitimate President of Malawi until courts says so,” said Lowe.
Lowe briefly served as leader of opposition in the last cohort of parliament when MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera had resigned as legislator to pave way for his nomination as presidential candidate.
In the absence of leader of opposition, MCP will only be represented by its Chief Whip.
MCP did not official offer a response to President’s address.
The party general secretary Eisenhower Mkaka, who is also a legislator, said they will participate in parliamentary deliberations, but pointed out that for now, there is no ruling or opposition party in Malawi.
The electoral commission declared Mutharika the winner of the election with 39% of the vote, while MCP candidate Lazarus Chakwera was a close second with 35%.
“We don’t accept the results that were announced by the Malawi Electoral Commission,” said Mkaka.
Mkaka said they will ensure they pass the provisional budget.
“What we want is to pass the provision budget so that we enable provision of social services. We do not want any disruption of social services,” he said.
The development of having parliament without a leader of opposition is the first since Malawi embraced multiparty democracy in 1993 through a national referendum.
Standing Order 35 (1) of Parliament states that the Leader of Opposition shall be elected by the party not in government having the greatest numerical strength in the House, rendering MCP which came second from DPP, eligible to field that leader.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :