Malawi electoral reforms Bill to delay: MP warns trouble if 50+1 could be a non-starter

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs  Samuel Tembenu has said the Bill on the electoral reforms would “most likely” be tabled in Parliament during the sitting in November this year, shrugging off pressure from opposition to urgently deliberate the legislation.

MP Mkandawire: There would be trouble

Tembenu said there are about six Bill for electoral reforms to be brought to parliament after work of the Malawi Law Commission (MLC) was completed in March this year.

“The House  should expect the Bills, six of them un total, most likely in November,” Tembenu said.

But opposition demanded the electoral reforms Bills be tabled  as a matter of urgency, fearing if tabled in November, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) would not be given ample time to prepare itself administratively for the legislative reforms  that might occur.

Lilongwe North East legislator for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Maxwell Thyolera,who is also Directors of elections for the party, said the Bills should be tabled as soon as possible and that Justice Minister should nit be shifting sand after he had opposed a motion  MCP’s Peter Dimba tabled on Elections on the basis that government would be bringing  Bills to the House on the matter in June.

“I want assuarance that the Bills will be tabled as soon as possible,” said Thyolera.

The Special Law Commission on the Review of the Electoral Law recommended the adoption of 50+1 system and scrapping the current First-Past-the-Post system which allows candidates to win the presidency by a simple majority.

The commission observed that the current system of electing the President has challenges regarding the issue of legitimacy where the winning candidate gets below 50 percent of the total votes.

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah already stated  it can only adopt the 50+1 system of electing the country’s President in the 2019 Tripartite Elections if Parliament approves the proposed amendments before the end of this year.

Ansah said it would be difficult to implement the new law if passed close to the polls as the electoral body would have already reached an advanced stage in its preparations.

She said before implementation, the Constitution will also require an amendment in Section 80 (2) and Section 96 (5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (PPE) Act.

Meanwhile, the absence of the electoral reforms Bill would spark political trouble in the country, Mzimba West MP Harry Mkandawire warned in the House.

“The Secretary General of (ruling DPP Jeffrey wa Jeffrey) talked about teh Northern Region forgetting abpout producing a president for this country. That was careless statement. In Rwanda, one million people died [genocide]  because of such careless statement,” Mkandawire said.

Government chief whip Henry Mussa accused Mkandawire of making “a very sensitive allegation”.

Said Mussa: “ He has referred to the Rwandan [genocide]. That is very serious matter which we must be careful with.”

Many opposition members observed that government is not willing to have the electoral reforms implemented.

 

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Hatton
Guest

Whether 50+1 or not, the north will remain handclappers. With the cold war between north and centre through synod borders, DPP will have a better advantage in the north than MCP; just my thoughts!!!

Matako akuwawa
Guest

The fact is whether DPP will win or MCP or whichever party but the president should have a majority to rule. Not what is being done now zamachende zenizeni. When Mr. Ibu talks of majority he talks of less than 40 percent? hahaha what a joke Malawi has become.

KUCHITHEKETE
Guest

50 t 1 MEANS CALL FOR A RERUN IF NO CANDIDATE AMONGST THE CONTESTANTS HAS GOTTEN THAT MUCH. NOW, HOW WILL APOOR ECONOMY LIKE OURS FACILITATE THAT? WINNIN THE PRESIDENCY WILL NOT BE REALISED JUST BCOZ U’VE CHANGED ELECTORAL LAWS.IT IS A GAME OF WOOIN PPL TO VOTE FOR YOU BUT NOW YOU WANT TO IT MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO WIN, IT HAPPENED IN ZIMBABWE WHERE VSHANGIRAI WAS DENIED VICTORY.SOMETIMES U WANT TO START SOMETHIN THINKIN U WILL PUNISH SOMEBODY BUT ONLY TO PUNISH YOURSELVES,WATCH OUT!!!!kkkkkkkk.SO YOU R SO DESPERATE FOR POWER?PRAY AND GOD WILL ELEVATE U

ndondwa
Guest

Iam a Lhomwe by tribe but I support the 50+1 system thats the way to go afterall our own Muntharika has failed us tisanyengererannepo apa kamba koti timachokera kumodzi zakale zimenezo.

changang'anda
Guest

MCP, MCP, MCP!!! Do you think 50+1 ndiye kuti owina ndinu? where can you get the votes to get this 50+1 when you can allow other parties to share votes in your strongholds? do you remember that 2009 elections great Bingu wamutharika got 65% with Dpp? you need to work hard to sell your party to all the regions not just think that 50+1 will help you to come back in government. otherwise you will workup in 2019 after the same Dpp will win with a landslide again.

Steve
Guest
Here DPP , what they are doing is Conflict of Interest.The Law Commission already have spent close to three years researching, investigating and recommending the Malawi Electral Laws to be changed after learning from Past Electral disputes, conflicts, rigging and loss of credibility by MEC on how they handle elections and what all Malawians wants.MCP ,PP and all Independent MPs, Please !!!!! , Please !!!!, Please !!!! , Let’s not allow The Ruling DPP Government Trump on our democracy rights ,Malawi by now should be somewhere far if people had to fight for truth in this Multi-Party Democracy, but most… Read more »
Savimbi
Guest
Fellow Malawians, Electral Laws are made to be independent not to favour any Political Party.Electral Laws are made to avoid future unforseeable problems or to avoid Election conflicts amongst Political Parties.The Simple Majority election Laws have failed us before,so why can’t we try 50+1 Electral Law.Here DPP is playing delaying tactics so that by November when MPs say let’s table that Electral Law, they will say it already TOO LATE to be implemented in 2019 Elections.They will suggest to be implemented in 2024.PLEASE !!!!! PLEASE !!!! Don’t let them push it to November,if you allow them,then FORGET about Electral Laws… Read more »
h
Guest

Mukuwopa chani 50 +1 ndiye njira yabwino. Kodi mukufuna muzitipondereza a lomwe pamalawi Pano eti. Ulendo uno sitidzaloranso bcoz mumawina ndi 37% the rest adakukanani. Ngati MEC idzakane tidzayendera zomwe mufuna mupange kuno ku Lilongwe kuti mulole wina alembetse kuti adzayimire Dpp

wakuphili
Guest

Who can get 51% of total votes? Fighting for something that will end up hurting them .SHAME

MANYI
Guest

YOU SAY MKANDAWIRES
STATEMENT WAS SENSITIVE ??
WHAT ABOUT THAT OF
JERFREY ??

DONT BE BIASED !!

wpDiscuz

More From Nyasatimes