Groups demand 50 + 1 law to elect Malawi President

A group of civil society organisations have added their weight to calls for amending the electoral law on electing a Head of State from the current first-past-the-post and adopt a 50 per cent plus one law to ensure that the winner of presidential elections enjoyed majority support.

Timothy Mtambo and Trapence presenting the petition calling for electoral reforms

Timothy Mtambo and Trapence presenting the petition calling for electoral reforms

The groups  delivered a 100-day ultimatum to government calling for financial and electoral reforms.

Scores of concerned citizens gathered in Lilongwe to present a petition to Lilongwe City Assembly as the protesters also demanded a change in electoral laws ,

Soon after the 2014 elections—which were characterised by challenges including inadequate resources, late delivery of electoral materials at polling stations and delay in tallying of results—various stakeholders also called for reform of the country’s electoral laws.

One of the protest organisers, Gift Trapence, who is the executive director for the Centre of the Development of People, said they are demanding the speedy implementation of electoral laws that would require the elected president to get more than 50% of the votes cast.

Where in a general election there is no candidate  who gather 50 percent, there should be a run off for the top two candidates to determine the winner.

“We have given them a hundred days to respond to our petition,” Trapence said.

Currently Malawi follows the “first past the post” principle, which enables a presidential candidate with fewer than 50% of the votes to win the elections.

President Peter Mutharika won the 2014 presidential elections with 36.4%.

“Malawians note that the circumstances around May 20 Tripartite elections clearly demonstrate inadequacy of the electoral laws to safeguard the right to vote, ‘legitimacy to govern’ or the upholding of the elections of a leader by the majority.

“Malawians are of the view that free, fair and credible elections cannot be achieved by the current state of laws and mechanisms of administering elections in Malawi. Malawians are hence concerned with government continued failure to act on or drive the electoral reform agenda including the proposed 50+1 electoral system as a matter of government’s priority,” reads the petition CSO’s presented.

The CSOs have recognised that 50 per cent plus one rule guarantees the leader acceptable, popular, majoritarian mandate.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa said government supports discussions on the electoral reforms whose continuity has already been approved by President  Mutharika.

Similar peaceful demonstrations also took place in northern city of Mzuzu and Karonga district in northern Malawi.

Public officers who received the petitions assured the protesters they would deliver them to the office of the president and Cabinet in time for action.

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50+1 my foot, it doesnt change the fact that i will still vote for DPP, i love DPP government so much


It is a good idea however the implementation of which would have huge financial and psychological implications. It would entail conducting two elections in a sequence, the first to remove the weakest links and the second for the first two best to battle it out to pick the ultimate winner.


Stupd Kabwira and Timothy Mtambo, dis z nt ur houses Plizzzzz dat u cn bring in ur stupd Idias expctng malawian 2 adopt thm, go and impriment those stupd Idias in ur houses wit ur kids nt wit us. Kabwira sunasiyebe, mchifukwa chake kachibwenzi kako kanatha pano ukufuna kugwetsa munthu wamulungu kodi mkazi wake amaziwa?


it buffles me why did de demos went on even they (organisers) heard that so many pple were dying the same time they were doing this. was not that reason enough to feel for the pple? which pple do u represent?


There shud b a Law in Malawi where for NGOz to present their petion or march they shud b first b endorsed by 50+1 of the electrorate in Malawi failing which no demonstrations R legal without 50+1 endorsement of the electrorate

butao wa a butao

Sd man or woman, inu mulibe nzeru. Better yet, you should go and learn what this article is all about.
I fear for your ignorance.




Forum ya atumbuka. Umongoneratu commet kuti ndi mbwenumbwenu. Anthu opanda manyazi. Why cant you keep quite. U think the who country can be shaken by ur comments. Zitsiru.

50%+1 cannot have any positive bearing on the overall outcome of our presidential poll. Malawi? It may, in fact, worsen perceptions of marginalization in some communities. Let’s reiterate what we’ve said elsewhere: 50%+1 is worse for us because it predicts a Southerner becoming president every time you use it. Actually, if we map the country’s tribal-regional-cultural matrix the odds for a Southerner winning the poll are at over 56% even in the most unlikely event that the Chewa and the Tumbuka rallied behind one candidate. Guess what, Mr Mtambo? 50%+1 cuts the probability of winning the presidency for a Northern… Read more »
God Hear Me
Please can somebody rescue me? I do not understand what was the purpose of the demonstrations? Koma ine now I wish ndikanakhala kuti si MTUMBUKA NDITHU MCP Gurus were present . PP gurus were present and previously I would not understand why? So the demonstrations included political issues. These guys are confused and confusionists. Does 50+ 1 law have any thing to do with Nacgate? Do you mean if we elect leaders based on 50+1 Law will help us curb cashgate or whatever ….gate in government? I think MCP and PP really funded these demonstrations they only used nacgate to… Read more »
A 50 + 1 electoral law z nt there to punish the ruling party! Sometimes I wonder how irresponsible some supporters could be! Critical thinking really saves! Mind you even your so called children would benefit in the future. At the moment pple know that dpp z ruling and no argument for that! If u remember even the current president noted during campaign period that the laws need reformation to suit the current democratic trends! But supporters believe otherwise! No matter we have had nepotic leaders since we accepted democracy! The problem z with supporters and not our leaders. We… Read more »

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