Malawi CSOs call for Parliament boycott to force govt table Electoral Reforms Bill

Malawian civil society organisations (CSO) are calling on legislators to boycott the 47th session of Parliament to be opened by President Peter Mutharika this Friday until Cabinet approve the Electoral Reforms Bill that should be on the lists if business to be deliberated in the august House.

President Mutharika with the Speaker Richard Msowoya: State opening of parliament expected on Friday t

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has all along been assuring people that the bill will be tabled during this sitting of parliament.

However, the Electoral Reforms Bill including the 50+1 electoral system for deciding the presidential vote is not among the six Bills to be tabled in the National Assembly expected to start convening this Friday.

The development has forced Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) to lobby legislators to boycott parliament until Electoral Reforms Bills are tabled in the House.

The two organisations said the absence of the Bills was an indication that the reforms were not a priority to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government.

“Malawians are keen to see the passing of 50+1 electoral system so that the national leaders should be elected by the majority,” said the two human rights bodies.

A statement jointly signed by Cedep executive director Gift Trapence and his CHRR counterpart Timothy Mtambo, the CSOs noted that based on government’s previous actions on laws, they suspect this is another calculated move to delay the electoral reforms process again.

“We have every reason to be suspicious because it is clear that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has not been in favour of the bills and is clearly seeking ways to further delay it. This betray of the highest order.

“We also call upon Malawians to rise up and demand commitment from the government to present the bills. Reforms to the electoral systems are critical to free, fair and transparent elections as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections,” the statement made available to Nyasa Times, reads in part.

Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa confirmed that government has not presented the electoral reforms Bill to Parliament because Cabinet is still “scrutinising” the pieces of legislation.

He promised that Cabinet would meet in not too distant future to discuss the bills and it would be gazetted before being presented to the House.

The Special Law Commission on the Review of Electoral Law recommended the enactment of six pieces of legislation, among them one which would provide for the transition between one President to another.

The Bills, collectively called Electoral Reforms Bill, are Constitution (Amendment), Electoral Commission (Amendment), Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections, Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) and Referendum.

In the May 2014 Tripartite Elections, President Peter Mutharika won the presidential election with 36 percent of the votes cast while Lazarous Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) came second with 27 percent.

If Malawi had a 50-plus-one electoral system, there would have been a rerun of the presidential election after May 20 2014.

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Jamax,the bigest problem you have you don’t know 3 duties of MPS.go back to schoo.

Mr Santana mukuti ulendo uno sizitheka, nanga ulendo wathau munali kuti? Your party leaders up to now they don’t tell us the way votes were rigged. The allegations of vote rigging was faked to save face on the loss. How can an opposition party rig votes when the MEC was controlled by the then ruling party? Ask your party leaders to conduct rallies around the country to tell us step by step how the votes were rigged in the presence of party monitors and with their signatures appended to the forms. After all we were not informed by the MEC… Read more »
By the way what is the main priority or the main thing that is suppose to be attended to if am to ask. What we need here in Malawi is development we are already facing problems of blackouts now and you stupid CSOs are coming in to make our MPs to boycott Parliament? are your heads normal or you are MAD please these people whom we voted are surppose to first take our problems from our various constituents & then take them to Parliament therefore let them meet and talk about our problems not your problems as CSOs, then afterwards… Read more »
None of the above will be in this Country,because the leader we have was chosen by very few people, and as am saying even them who ca voted him into power are also regretting just as you are doing. That is why we want this bill to be tabled in this house, but because we all know that it is not suiting those who are enjoying through the back door, it will remain like this. For your information, this is not for C.Os or Opposition Parties but for the betterment of all Malawians who loves and think about the next… Read more »
Dipipi wa Yudiefu

Ndikakumbukira nthawi ya Bingu, aMalawi anapitapo ku Parliament ndikukabindikira pa gate kumawopyeza kuti ma MP tiwagenda akamatuluka mukatimu. Sindikukumbukira kuti chinachitika ndichani kuti zitero chifukwa ndinangomva ndinali koyenda kunja. Pano chikubvuta ndichani kuti apangeso chimodzimodzi. Ma MP athu ndiwokonda ndalama pawokha sangapange boyikotiyo. Tiyeni tiwathandize.

The move by the CSOs is a noble one, but I doubt if the legislators will heed the call to boycott Parliament and you may count out UDF MPs. What is in the MPs mind now is to receive the allowances and not to work for the development of the country. Numerically, the opposition MPs are advantaged and if they agree to stay away, Parliament will be reduced to nothing forcing government to act. My concern is that Government could buy some of them in order to form a quorum and proceed with Parliamentary fake business. If our MPs truly… Read more »
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

Most of the MPs have left without organising meetings with their constituents in order to seek their views and on what he should say in parliament pertaining to such matters. It would be a tragedy if they would succumb to cash for purposes of forming a quorum. Malawi’s democracy would be dented.


Good move only if we can manage to lobby more that 50% of MPs not to attend this parliament. Otherwise a quorum is formed by 50% plus 1 MP – so lets move carefully!

It is not Malawians having interest in this bill. It is Cedep and the other CSOs coz to the ordinary Malawians, those bills do not matter most. Malawians are concerned with FISP, Roads, Schools, Food and other basic needs not ERBill. So stop using the term Malawians coz what we have discovered is that all the CSOs fight for themselves not Malawi. Ndiye akapanga boycott the assembly where are would these parliamentarians going to discuss the bills. And why do you the CSOs always purport acts of kunyanyala and not discussion. Every time something happens you demonstrate without even understanding… Read more »

DPP musamatenge zinthu za dziko ngati za chipani, this is for the nation kuchokera pano kupita kutsogolo, kaya alowa m’boma ndi a UDF, MCP, Aford or inu a DPP but don’t take Malawi as if you own it!!!!!!!


Takuonani ndi njira yofuna kudzaberanso mavoti. Mwalemba mmadzi ulendo uno okha sizitheka.

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