Malawi parties support 50-plus-one electoral system: Ruling DPP undecided on electing president by majority

As the country edges closer to the next Tripartite Elections in 2019, Malawi political parties represented in Parliament  – except the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  – have expressed support to the proposed amendment of the system of electing the President from the current First-Past-the-Post to the 50-plus-one system.

Chakwera: We will support electoral reforms

The 50-plus-one system means that a winning candidate should amass more than 50 percent of the votes to be crowned president. Currently, Malawi uses the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) electoral system. This allows whoever gets more votes than other candidates to be crowned president irrespective of whether the margin is minimal or large.

The Malawi Law Commission endorsed the proposed electoral reforms including the 50-plus-one  system which is also called the Majoritarian electoral system in Political Science  that allows the incumbent president to have legitimacy from the voters as most people will see the power of their votes being manifested in the man or woman they eventually send to State House.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peoples Party (PP) and Alliance for Democracy have signalled that they will back a Bill on the proposed electoral reforms to enact the 50-plus-one presidential winning threshold in the new Constitution so that in future, Malawians should be governed by a president elected by a majority of voters.

“The opposition parties are pulling in one direction to support the electoral reforms,” Leader of Opposition and MCP president Lazarous Chakwera said in an interview with Nyasa Times.

PP leader in the House, Uladi Mussa said Malawians would not want to be ruled by a minority president again.

President Peter Mutharika won with only 36 percent of the vote.

“We will support the Bill to ensure the  50-plus-one presidential winning threshold is refleccted in the new Constitution,” said Mussa.

“Zambia implemented it and we all saw how it worked well. It is time we adopt the same,” he said.

Aford president Enoch Chihana said proposed electoral reforms by the Malawi Law Commission are “important for sustaining democracy” and one hardly needs to waste time justifying them.

United Democratic Front (UDF) which has a working relationship with DPP is also backing the electoral reforms, according to party spokesman Ken Ndanga, who said UDF will support the reforms.

But DPP director of elections Kondwani Nankhumwa , who is also Leader of the House, said the party has not made its stand on the matter.

Aparrently,  the DPP is not too sure if come 2019 they will have the support of the voters to sail through without a re-run.

Other proposed electoral reforms are that the swearing-in of the President-elect and Vice-President should be done 30 days after voting. The aim is to give aggrieved parties a chance to file their complaints to the courts of law and be heard.

Another proposed electoral reform is that the presidential candidates and their running mates should have a minimum of a first degree or its equivalent from a recognised or accredited university.

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Douglas Ndindi
Guest
Listen Jamax. You are missing the whole point here. What we are talking about here is a system, not individual candidates. You are making your arguments with specific presidential candidates in mind. How do you know that God wants the First-Past- The-Post system as opposed to the 50-plus-one? Have you spoken to him? About having so many parties and candidates, it is the same FPTP system which has caused this because people know they can go to State House with just 10% of the vote. Believe you me, not many will have the courage to register in the 50-plus-one system.… Read more »
Jamax
Guest
Thanks so much Douglas for your sensible explanation, therefore the main idea here is to change the type of system which can allow the winning President scooping more than 50% electral votes. I 100% agree with you but what will happen if the third loosing candidate almost got tie with the second loosing President don’t you think he will also challenge the votes?? Ok fine dear let’s follow the new system and see how it works ….. otherwise I for one I see tension arising during the re-run period … fighting during this period of time can not be ruled… Read more »
Murupale pa Thyolo
Guest
Ine ndi wa DPP ndipo ndalora za 50+ zo. DPP izawina basi nanga a bwana Nankhumwa mukuopa chiani apa? Tikungofunika kuchita ndikukonza zinthu mwachangu apaaa: 1. Lets make sure that mlandu wa a Chaponda taufulumizitsa kuti abwerere m Boma 2. Tindalama tomwe timabungwe topenga tinapeleka for our Blue Night tawabwenzera with a small interest ndipo ma cheques akaperekedwere pa Bingu Stadium kuti umboni upite patali. Bwana anthu akulankhulatu, wina asakunamizeni. 3. Madzi a ku Salima apite msanga ku Lilongwe, tisamvere izi akamba anthuzi zoti ndondomeko siinasatidwe, this is cheap propaganga to delay development for the needy masses. You are the… Read more »
santana
Guest
Mr Kaitano, the issue of 50+1 will not hit the ruling party in any way, nor will it help the opposition win the votes. If the opposition thinks this is their chance to win the votes after a re-run let them explain how this will be to their advantage. The same opposition especially MCP and PP claimed that they lost the elections because DPP, THEN IN OPPOSITION, RIGGED THE VOTES. But they fell short of explaining to their supporters how the votes were rigged. Was it done on the polling centres, was it along the way to DCs offices, or… Read more »
kaitano
Guest
Am just a little being not knowing what UDF is to day, can you please tell me about it? Santana, am not talking about voting for MCP, am talking of the reforms which the Malawi Government has introduced to Malawians, is it not one of the reforms? don’t forget we want things to change in our country. its pity that when you talk of Opposition we just see Chakwera, of which am not regret on that since he is the Leader of Opposition in the house, now we should not look on him as the master of this but we… Read more »
Jamax
Guest
Ok fine you are opting for 50+1 electral system here in Malawi, let’s first count how many parties we have and what effect we’ll it have on the outcome just because of these 60+ parties. Agree with me running such elections in poor countries like Malawi is so costly, now listen this system will put our economy at steak as it will require a re-run to the two presidential candidates who will follow each other, the way I see things there is no presidential candidate who can amass a 50+1 5 at one goal never!!! It’s only Bingu who did… Read more »
Murupale pa Thyolo
Guest
Jamax, what are you trying to say. Your response to the article smacks of an insane person. What are your fears here? It is simple and straight forward on this. Nobody should rule this country through the back door. Nobody has chosen a party leader yet but you have already started barking. Who is your choice that you would like to rule us with 30% of the votes. And, who actually told you that running a democratic country is cheap after all? Malawi should never be run by a minority government again. If you have a party or a presidential… Read more »
Jamax
Guest
I know what you are aiming at now all what you want is to get lead of APM through 50+1 shame and day dreaming!!!! just stop talking too much you Murupale you will be ashamed come 2019 I strongly challenge you whatever system you may chose APM is winning. I believe and trust that God will do it to shame all hatred people who do not have that inner LOVE. The donor community can not continue donating money twice consectively only for your glutton elections are you not ashamed by writing this my dear murupale??…. now have this in your… Read more »
Kaitano
Guest
Sorry Mr Jamax if that is your real name, i don’t think you have write your comment followed by the same Holy spirit you are trying to explain here, What you should know is that when righteous rules, people rejoice. Are you in Malawi or out side? do you follow the way how things are in our Country?Who is David in your story? and who is Saul again? and who is the chosen one in your comment? i know you will not answer me those just few questions but i have some thing to tell you. Sorry again for calling… Read more »
Jamax
Guest
Thanks for your peaceful words Mr. Kaitano you & me can meet at a point of understanding each other this is the only page were good people can share ideas without insulting each other nor fighting. Now Mr. Kaitano am so happy that you read the Bible very well, can you mention to me which President of this world has ever ruled his country without any problem or without any single person complaining?? As long as we live in this sinful World there shall never be peace unless you personally have JESUS in your Life….. YES peace will come and… Read more »
kaitano
Guest
Mr Jamax, welcome back. Thank you so much for your word you have encouraged me so much, I think we can go and go and go and go again talking about this, about what i comment on your comment much was concerning the king Saul and David how these people became the heart of people and how people differentiate them on who was good in their time. Now you have pointed out something which is very important, about having Jesus. wow!! that’s the first and the last thing to have as believers. Now what we need to do as believers… Read more »
CHIPAPWICHE
Guest

Hhahahaha who are these self exiled northernres? where are they exiled, in diaspora? can they come to vote?

The Patriot
Guest
The reforms are for the good of the nation and not a single party. These reforms should go ahead whether DPP 2ants or not because: 1. Malawi is bigger than any political party or tribe 2. Elections are done so that leaders should get the mandate from the voters….any mandate representing less than 50% of the electrolate is a mockery of democracy. 3. The reforms will help to reduce nepotism and tribalism since no single tribe or region can amass the 50% votes on its own. 4. The reforms will make every voter to be important regardless of their tribe… Read more »
Douglas Ndindi
Guest

Suffice it to say that the 50-plus-one system will be beneficial to our democracy, without referring to systems followed by the USA. The US system is so complicated that I even doubt if all of their candidates understand it completely. Do you know that there is some animal there called “The Electoral College”? How many people in Malawi understand that? Let’s just say we support the 50-plus-one system in its simplistic form. No need for complications which will only become obstacles to us come election time.

santana
Guest
It is not automatic that when there is a re-run all opposition parties can form a united front. Even though Chakwera is Leader of Opposition it does not mean all opposition parties want him to be the state president. He can be their leader in the opposition by design but it does not mean they can need him on the state presidency. MCP thinks by being the biggest party in the opposition it is automatic that all the opposition will vote for Chakwera when there is a re-run. Those parties which will not stand during the re-run it will be… Read more »
China
Guest

We also need to have results counted and displayed at the polling station. This issu of collecting ballot papers and count them somewhere is what fuels rigging. 50+1 is nothing unless we ensure that people are aware of the winner soon after voting. Please Bwana Chankwera check this…!!!!

Kaitano
Guest

That is very true.

Khoviwa
Guest

The behaviour of DPP leaves a lot to be desired. They think Malawi belongs toMuthalika forgetting that this man no matter what has got less than 90% of his life remaining. They want to continue with stealing. Everything has a lifetime. We have to leave this country in safe hands. We have small children. We have unborn children. People are still making babies day and night. Please think about this you dpp idiots.

Southpole
Guest
50+ is not only applying to DPP but equally to all political parties and their presidential candidates including MCP! I tend to wonder kuti ngati MCP yankhala ikuluza pa ndondomeko zomwe tikugeilitsa ntcito pano,kumapeza 27% do they think angakwanitse kupeza 50%? Icokera kuti? Don’t be think it as a punishment to the current government… We shud even realise kuti amene anapeza 36% Ali better off a shy of 14% to 50% while the rest are scrambling below half or slightly above half of 50% of the voters,let alone moving upwards from just 50. If u r here cerebrating this, be… Read more »
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