Malawi leader says no money to fund Section 65 by-elections

Malawi President Joyce Banda says she does not have K4.6 billion to fund by-elections if Speaker of Parliament apply of Section 65 of the Constitution. To declare vacant seats of prostituting MPs.

Banda made remarks at Chikoko Bay State Lodge when she met villagers around the lodge on Sunday.

Malawi Electoral Commission  (MEC) says it needs K112.5 million (about $450 000) to organise a by-election and that it would require K4.6 billion to conduct by elections in 41 constituencies who MPs are up for Section 65 invocation.

President Banda; No funds for mass by-elections

“I do not have K4.6 billion to fund by elections,” said President Banda.

“Those people advancing Section 65 implementation do not love you people. They want me to transfer money that would benefit you in cash transfer programme,” she said.

“Section 65 was started in 2005 till 2009 and it has not benefited even those who advanced it because they ended up getting booted out of government,” said Banda.

The President defended the MPs said to have crossed the floor, saying they are still seated in their original positions in the august House and that it was the DPP MPs who have changed the seating plan.

“Those MPs have not crossed the floor. They have simply declared interest to support government,” she said.

MEC head of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the commission would need K4.6 billion to conduct by-elections in 31 constituencies and another K225 million for two by-elections in Mzimba Central and South West- taking the cost to about K5 billion (about $20m).

The two seats fell vacant following the deaths of Professor Donton Mkandawire and the ascendancy to the vice-presidency of Khumbo Kachali.

The Speaker is yet to make rulings on the Section 65 petitions from DPP and UDF.

Forty-one MPs, 39 from DPP and two from UDF, face the chop after their parties wrote Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda to declare their seats vacant on the basis that they crossed the floor to the governing People’s Party (PP) of President Banda.

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