Malawi Speaker to give ruling on UDF MPs who crossed the floor: Sec 65

Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda is on Tuesday expected to give a ruling on three United Democratic Front (UDF) Members of Parliament who dished their party and joined the ruling People’s Party (PP).

Section 65 of the penal code states that, every MP who decides to abandon the party that brought him/ her in parliament by joining another party ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

In October last year, the UDF Party petitioned the office of the speaker to rule on MPs who had crossed the floor. The three MPs summoned are Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola, MP for Mangochi North East, Alfred Mwechumu and Asibu Shamil, Member of Parliament for Mangochi South East.

Announcing in Parliament on Monday, the Speaker said having looked at the petition; he was free to make a judgment on the issue.

Matola: To face Section 65 justice
Matola: To face Section 65 justice

“I wish to announce to the House that I have looked at the UDF petition and come tomorrow Tuesday morning, I shall be making a ruling,” Chimunthu Banda said.

Clement Chiwaya, UDF Chief Whip in the house commended the speaker for considering the concerns of the party.

“This is the application which was sent last year and we are happy that the Speaker will be ruling tomorrow,” explained Chiwaya.

Chiwaya however said the ruling was only targeting the three MPs who had announced to have joined Peoples Party and not those working with the Government.

In a related development, Chimuthu Banda announced that his hands were tied to give a ruling on a petition by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which had also asked him to declare the seats of the MPs who had crossed the floor vacant.

“On section 65 and the petition by the DPP Party, I wish to report that the issue is in court and we need to wait for the court to give a ruling,” he explained.

Section 65 of the penal code stipulates that every MP who dishes the party that sponsored him or her to parliament and joins another party ceases to be a Member of the August House.

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