Malawi flagship newspaper pushes for referendum on electoral reforms

Malawi’s flagship newspaper, the Daily Times, is proposing a referendum on electoral reforms should government continue to drag its feet in tabling the Electoral Reforms Bill during the current sitting of parliament, which many feel it’s likely.

President Mutharka and Leader of the House , Kondwani Nankhumwa after opening Parliament: Government not interested to bring to Parliament the much-touted electoral reforms

President Peter Mutharika’s address on Friday during the opening of the 47th Session of Parliament  did not mention the issue of electoral reforms

despite  the support the bills command from civil society organizations, the country’s donor partners and opposition politicians.

Among the dragging Bills is the one on changing the electoral system and making some amendments to issues concerning electoral dispute resolution by delaying the swearing in of the winning presidential candidate.

The Bills also propose Malawi to migrate from the Malawi’s long time First-Pass-the- Post electoral system to 50+1 system.

“The ruling party seems not to be happy with 50+1 amendment. This is what is making the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) jittery… The party is being led by leaders who that was voted into power with a mere 36 percent of the national vote,” says the paper in  its editorial comment.

It adds that no wonder they are not interested in the bills because he is in the know that come 2019, he may not be able to amass enough votes.

“It’s becoming clear that the ruling party wants to keep the status quo because like other parties before it, they have been benefiting from it.”

The Electoral Reforms Bills failed to be tabled in parliament in May as was earlier planned because Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Samuel Tembenu said he received the recommendations of the Special Law Commission late.

He promised to table the Bills in November.

“This is November and there are all indications that the government is again not ready…The Minister of Justice Tembenu has to be held accountable and deliver on the promise he made in May this year. If that fails, we will need a referendum,” the paper concludes.

Meanwhile the opposition parliamentarians have threatened to mount a strong protest in parliament should government fail to table the eagerly awaited Electoral Reforms Bills during the current sitting.

And the donors have stressed that they expect the newly-opened Parliament to deliberate on electoral reforms for the sake of the country’s democratic growth.

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Iwe Fed opanda nzeru ndi president wakoyo Mr. Ibu. A dunderhead like him for a state president is just a waste of time. He claims to have lived in America with civilized type of democracy and yet he can not set such an example for people to appreciate that he indeed lived in America. He’s banking on his tribe the lomwe that he’ll win because he thinks MCP can not penetrate the south. Mukunama, MCP has now followers in Nsanje, Chikwawa, BT, Zomba Machinga, Mangochi and BK. You’ll be disappointed when MCP amasses the big numbers of votes from these… Read more »
Christopher Mpakula

Much as I would love the electoral reform bill to be tabled in parliament , I don’t want this to be done in response to what the donors wish. I strongly feel that this is selling our Independence we fought for.Why should we we continue dancing to the tune of the so called Donors? I’m actually offended by a statement that say “And the donors have stressed that they expect the newly opened parliament to deliberate on electoral reforms”


This is no longer a flagship newspaper. It has been overtaken by political activists and MCP operatives masquerading as journalists. Time will tell.

Majoti Chimuzanga
It is without a doubt the intentions of George Kasakula an avid and reknown MCP apologists is to stoke fires against the DPP government and forment public anger against the Mutharika administration. His lapdog newspaper the Daily Times comes in handy in this agenda as can be seen by the numerous anti-government programmes guised as public forums/discussions to hold government to account when the intentions are to whip anti-government sentiments amongst the citizenry. The issue of electoral reforms the Daily Times is speaking about is something which Kasakula’s party the Malawi Congress Party can ably table in parliament and when… Read more »

U don’t need 50+1 to remove this president. Even the current status quo will see him out. Change laws to benefit the country not to target the current leadership. Am just a new political analysts.

Majoti Chimuzanga

What status quo can remove DPP? People get drunk from a small win like the recent by-elections and think DPP is on the backfoot. Far from it! If anything those bye-elections have only emboldened the DPP and give them between now and election time DPP will be on the rebound. If there is any party that schemes night and day in the Malawian political landscape then its the DPP. Wait and you will see. Only time shall tell.


They have gone where even the devil fears to go. Will take them by the horns. Lying in parliament is shameful


Bvuto lomwe lidzakupheni anthu inu ndi Phuma. Mumachita Phuma pa zinthu zosafunika kukangalika. Kodi Bill muikamba apayi, kufunika kwache koichitira Phuma chonchiku nkotani? Be patient and let time pass you shall hear it being tabled so long as it is ready. Referendum, referendum mupangitse ndi inuyo a times? Do you even know the cost for the referendum? Don’t politicize everything that comes in our way. We are not happy chifukwa nthawi zonse mumafuna kuyambitsa chisokonezo. Don’t cheat yourself to be watchdogs you are just a bunch of corrupt and opanda nzeru. Osamaona kuchedwa iyayi. Demet.


Government of thieves & pathological liars

I thought the president himself and his party boys at the top have been challenging the opposition that come 2019, they will score a landslide victory so why the nervousness and paranoia to table the bill? Was the landslide victory to be a prediction from the 50+1 or an old voting system that promotes tribalism and regionalism? The fact is Peter Mutharika never won an election genuinely in 2014 and he knows that winning an election in 2019 is a tall order especially after inflicting economic, social, and welfare pain into Malawians. His predicted landslide victory is his wish thinking… Read more »
Majoti Chimuzanga
And so how does Mutharika find himself at the helm? Mutharika was not running any elections. The people that ran the elections were Joyce Banda and company. Looted treasury and had all government levers in their hands to run and rig the election if they so wished. But people voted against JB. PP even lost in Zomba where she comes from. So its preposterous for anybody to think that he did not win fair and clean. Give the guy the credit he did his homework and he won the elections. Period. Musayipidwe naye ndithu APM he did his maths and… Read more »

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