HRDC drags DPP MPs to court for contempt over: Abstained legislators to be indicted

At least 85 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of parliament who on Thurday shot down a Constitutional Amendment Bill to have a provision for a run-off in case no presidential candidate garners over 50 percent of the total votes cast, have been dragged to court for contempt.

Lawyer Sylvester Ayuba James: Taking MPs to court

Lawyer Ayuba James also said Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has also instructed him to take the 12 members of parliament who abstained to court for the same offence of contempt of court.

“This amendment did not just come from the ordinary, it was an order of the Constitutional Court. The National Assembly was duty bound to pass the bill,” he said.

The amendment bill was defeated after it failed to garner two thirds majority vote in the House.

Any constitutional amendment requires two thirds majority which means 128 legislators in  in the 193-seat National Assembly.

There were 183 MPs present out of whom 109 voted ‘Yes’ while 72, mostly from the government benches, said ‘No’ and one abstained.

Ayuba said any court interpretation becomes law automatically- essentially means that 50+1 majority of the votes for electing a president is a law and would be used to determine the results.

He said anyone, including parliament, are duty bound to respect court orders.

In its judgement of the presidential election case on 3rd February,2020,the Constitutional Court clarified that Section 80(2) of the constitution already provides for the 50+1 system of voting but asked legislators to come up with a law that would necessitate a run-off in case no candidate gets over half of the total votes.

This is what has been defeated.

Parliament  was meeting Friday afternoon to consider the consequences of the failure to pass the  Bill.

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Msundwe Commando
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Msundwe Commando

I see really that we are in a crisis indeed. Unless a learned fella enlightens me, osati anthu omwe mwatenga airtime from Sidik Mia to confuse us on social networks. My question: In light of the constitutional verdict, I hear some parties saying the 50 + 1 is already a law. By virtue of what. The court’s interpretation or indeed we were wrong all the time to use first past the post. Question 2: Where do we draw the line of independence between the judiciary and other arms of government. Question 3: Isnt there a common thread in all this… Read more »

mchisala
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mchisala

I think Mutharika and his DPP need to be schooled on the lawful implications of the Feb 3 2020 court judgment and the orders the court gave because it looks like Mutharika and his DPP are bent on not implementing them. Mutharika and his DPP have a court ordered 150-day mandate to run the country to facilitate the implementation of the court orders. If at the expiry of the 150-days the courts orders are not implemented, the court WILL NOT AGAIN order to ‘revert to the situation before the elections’ because it will have been ‘observed’ that it is Mutharika… Read more »

Ceaser
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Ceaser

This now where the true colors of Mtambo is being exposed. He is an agent of opposition, if he thinks he can sue n win this casa then surely it means the judiciary is fully under the armpits of Chilima/Chakwera who are his masters.

To cut the story short. Judiciary n Parliament are two separate arms of the government. They are independent of each other, meaning one cannot command the other on what to do.

Amjiba
Guest
Amjiba

HRDc does not not represent Malawians. MPs have the duty to reject or pass any bill whether one likes it or not such powers care given in the constitution. The duty of court is just to interpret. No where in the constitution it is written that courts should impose orders on Parliament to change laws. Why did the court fail to implement that provision. This is democracy and not dictatorship where people have different views and should be respected.another court has already ruled that çoncourt orders are not binding.

Vilhomwe Ndivimbuli
Guest

Vuto LA ma MP athu ndi savage ndi umbuli. Tiyeni nawo. Court judgements are not for voting and there no issues of rights. The court in doing so already considered majority rights.
Bakha Party take care

Jose
Guest
Jose

The judgement was clear parliament must make measures.This is not voluntary but mandatory.No yes or no debate.Who said you have freedom to say yes or no to court order where are these privileges in our laws or which standing orders you can cite for us there is none.The speaker should just gazzette those procedures period.we are tired of crooks and selfish people.we want just and new malawi with great minds not ukhuluku always.yourtime is over.Amen.

najere
Guest
najere

The foolish judges need to now understand that MPs can reject a bill and that they as a court cannot command parliament to pass laws. We are proud of our MPs for protecting our constitution.

Medson
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Medson

I think members of the parliament have rights to decide on behalf of the voters, If their constituencies didn’t allowed them to do so, so what. If it was a law why never implemented in 1994 1994 2004,2009 and 2014. If it was already a law for 50+1 which president put his signature. HRDC u are wasting your time because anything involves with votes in parliament requires political will. in our democracy we voted for it no one can be dragged into a court for voting against someone’s will. If court ordered parliament to pay bill then failed to do… Read more »

Game changer
Guest

There is no proof of consultation with the mass, if the proof is available it should be the one the government of our forefathers converged during constitutional conference when coming up with our laws which the judges have interpreted so well. What the DPP MPs are doing now is just trying to put scanners in the progress in fear of elections

Myao weni weni
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Myao weni weni

Mtambo more fire……waaonesa aDpp nyekhwe

virji
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virji

komabe tivota basi