Kamlepo protests ‘adulterated’ Bill on Malawi electoral reforms: Nation newspaper says ‘ridiculous’ and ‘paranoid’ DPP

Outspoken Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) has accused the government of ambushing Malawians by circulating  in Parliament  pieces of legislation in the Electoral Reforms Bill  which are not what  Malawi Law Commission  proposed.

Kalua: Its adulterated Bill

Government has rejected several recommendations of the Special Law Commission and introduced new provisions including extending the  50 plus one system of electing  the country’s President  to include members of Parliament  and ward councillors.

The government has made so many changes in the final three  Bills which, among other things, call for a majority threshold (50 percent + 1) vote law that will see the country receding from the winner-takes-it-all scenario of electing the president.

“The Bill that was proposed by the Law Commission is not the one that is before us,” protested Kalua, one of the politicians who fought against one-party dictatorship and championed the multiparty democracy.

“Is it in order, Mr . Speaker Sir, that we have this [adulterated Bill,” he asked.

But Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya said what the Law Commission  submits to government is not always what Parliament gets as the Cabinet discuss and  make some considerations before  a Bill goes to National Assembly.

“The reason Cabinet meets is to reshape the bills. The idea is for you to see the bills that have been presented to you,” said Msowoya.

“What will come out of this House is not what they will have presented.  What will come out is what Parliament will have decided that this is the law.  That is the process. That is what I can say,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country’s influential daily newspaper. The Nation,  has said government should not table the ‘adulterated’ Bill.

In its editorial comment in Tuesday’s edition, the paper said it is “simply ridiculous” and “laughable”  for the President Peter Mutharika’s government to table  an adulterated Bill the same as it did with the Access to Information Bill.

The paper said the inclusion of  MPs in the 50 plus one system, government  wants to “run away” from responsibility should legislators reject it.

“The terms of electing a State President cannot be equated to those for electing MPs. Doing so would be comparing apples and oranges,” reads the comment.

It noted that one major difference is the minimum age for a presidential candidate – which is 35 years – while for MPs, anyone who can vote is eligible to become an MP.

The paper says applying 50 plus one system to MPs would be  costly and that those countries like Zambia where the 50 plus one system law has been adopted. It does not apply to the election of MPs let alone ward councillors.

“We understand why government is so paranoid about the  50 + 1 Bill. President Peter Mutharika won with a paltry 36 percent of the votes. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is aware it has not delivered on the promises it made to the people for its president to win with a majority of the votes,” reads the comment.

The paper said the  50 percent + 1 Bill is not targeting Mutharika, saying it is for the public good whose benefits will be there  long after the current President is out of office and urged the DPP to have national interest rather than “selfish partisan interest.”

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.

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chimuzanga majoti
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chimuzanga majoti

Tinanena paja kuti iyi ndi DPP simumamva. Tiyeni nazoni! Ma MP aCongress inu mwalowela 10% of the electorate yaku constituency kwanu ku parliament and you want to decide for the rest of the electorates palinzelu pamenepo? Tiyambe kaye inuyo. Winani by 50%+1 you become more acceptable and representational and then we go to the Presidency awinenso chimodzi modzi 50+1. Zomveka izo.. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If its expensive for the MP to have a rerun where they don’t garner 50%+1 the same will happen to the President iyenso campaign yake amayendela dollar zikusiyana… Read more »

Captain
Guest
Captain

Akamulepo zawavuta, will he manage to amass 50+1 votes kkkkkkkkkkkk. Mumayesa phada eti.

Mhesha
Guest

The executive has repeatedly advised u that for any bill to be tabled in Parliament it undergoes a process. The Law Commission did it’s part. The Executive had to do its part also and they just done it. Now let Parliament do its part as well. Get the advice from the Speaker.

Nachisale
Guest
Nachisale

What a misguided comment from The Nation Newspaper. Government has done its job. The Nation’s commentary means its journalists do not know that a bill starts as a proposal and goes through a process of discussion, development and creation by the Law Commission before the government (cabinet) discusses and makes necessary changes/amendments. It’s sad our media/journalists are not conversant with these things.

santana
Guest
santana

Martin, be schooled that when an MP goes to Parliament he does a national duty not only a constituency duty. When he makes laws he does so for national laws not constituency laws. An MP is a law maker not ”wopala misewu” as they were doing before elections of Councillors. Nawonso agwemo mu 50+1 basi.

nachisale
Guest
nachisale

Government is right. According to our constitution, bills are brought to parliament in a process that involves the Law Commission PROPOSING a piece of law, and then, the Executive arm of government (cabinet) works on those proposals. Government or rather cabinet can make changes to the proposal made by the Law Commission in order to bring a bill in parliament for debate and adoption. SO there is nothing wrong with what the government has done. Kudos to government for bringing a bill that demands greater mandate (50+1) across all elected officials – president, MPs and councillors. No fooling about.

Shaaaaaaaa
Guest
Shaaaaaaaa

They want to frustrate the process.. but my advice is .. vote for the bill.. the amendments will be done once these guys are gone… They will not be in power forever… People are watching.. whatever you will do on this bill will ve a bearing on ur political future…

Bunch of Confused Clergy
Guest
Bunch of Confused Clergy

Its true that school imakongochotsa umbuli osati utchisilu. Ndaonera this govt. Educated fools and wina kumaombera mmanja.

Kunthebwe
Guest
Kunthebwe

Educated fools because the bill requires you to amass 50+1 votes? Kulira kwanu sikumveka

Bunch of Confused Clergy
Guest
Bunch of Confused Clergy

I repeat these old matchona leaders are crooks, where in the world have you ever heard of 50+1 applying to MPs. It just shows how selfish and intolerant and arrogant is Peter Mutharika`s leadership. Mamina okhaokha mmutu mwawo. Who told you that Malawi will led by DPP for life?

Banda Rodgers
Guest

The bill is a way govt want to play its dirty tricks. The country has a lot of challenges to look into., electricity, 1960s road system, high poverty rate, agriculture for we dont have mines, dirty govt buildings in remote areas towns and cities etc……

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