Malawi lawyers say one-party State is impossible

The call or desire by the ruling People’s Party (PP) for the country to revert to one party state are impossible to implement and would compromise international charters on human rights and democracy the country has subscribed to, law experts have said.

This week, PP became under fire following remarks by its Secretary general Henry Chibwana who suggested that it would be better if the country goes back to one party state, with the President Joyce Banda’s party in administration.

In an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, one of the law experts in the country, Gift John Mwakhwawa said the suggestion by PP was unfounded and that will only complicate the country’s stand on issues of human rights and respect to the Constitution.

Mwakhwawa said: “To revert to one party state, it means we have to change the Constitution. Even if people through referendum support the idea, it will still be impossible to implement because such system of government is in contradiction to some of the international instruments the country subscribed to”.

He cited Constitutional provisions such as right to association and freedom of expression as stipulated, which the country’s citizens stand to lose out once the one party state system of government in in place.

Mwakhwawa: Malawi cannot revert to one-party state
Mwakhwawa: Malawi cannot revert to one-party state

“Internationally, there will be commotion as such system is deemed to undermine democratic values. It is impossible to revert to one party system, and I don’t think Malawians will accept that,” Mwakhwawa added.

And Constitutional law expert, Professor Edge Kanyongolo has warned Chibwana’s ambition has a long procedure.

Kanyongolo pointed out that the country has to go for referendum first to judge people’s opinion and if they support it, then amend the Constitution.

“The sections that have to be amended are 12 and 40 of the Constitution. However, this (going back to one party state) is the most outlandish statement I have heard over the years,” said Kanyongolo.

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