Malawians are biggest losers, a nation betrayed and duped: Malawi press reacts to electoral reforms

The week has ended with Electoral Reforms Bill dominating headlines with government legislators opposing the piece of legislation that would see the country implementing the 50+1 electoral system of choosing the country’s president from the First-Past-the-Post system, news that has attracted editorial comments in major Malawians dailies on Friday.

President Mutharka and Leader of the House , Kondwani Nankhumwa after opening Parliament: Government has not been in support of  electoral reforms

“Malawians are the biggest losers,” screamed an editorial headline in the influential The Nation newspaper which pointed out that there was reluctance by the President Peter Mutharika administration to take to the National Assembly a set of bills under the banner of Electoral Reforms Bills.

The paper noted that following pressure from several stakeholders and fearing mass protests organised by Public Affairs Committee (PAC), opposition parties and civil society organisations, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government tabled the bills albeit adulterated.

The Malawi Law Commission proposed at least six bills in its report to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

Among these bills were: 1. Amendment of Section 80 (2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (PPE) Act proposing 50 percent majority in presidential election; 2. Consolidation of PPE Act and Local Government Elections Act; 3. Amendment of Section 81 (3) of the Constitution for swearing in of president and vice-president to be done after 30 days; 4. The Assumption of Office of President Bill would provide for the establishment of a transition team before a president is sworn in; 5. Amendment to Section 62 of the Constitution where each district would provide a single constituency in which only women would contest as candidates for member of Parliament; 6. Elections Management Fund to ensure Malawi Electoral Commission is financially autonomous.

In its comment, The Nation said the wishes  of Malawians as expressed through recommendations on the Special Law Commission Report of Electoral Reforms, are being “systematically discarded” by political machinations of the DPP.

The paper said with the Electoral Commission Act (Amendment) Bill referred to the Legal Affairs Committee and the Referendum Bill and yet another adulterated Transitional Arrangement (Assumption of Office by the President and Vice President) Bill rejected, the impression one gets is that the traits of ‘Executive arrogance’ have systematically been thrown to the Legislature.

“We dare say that is not smart. It is taking Malawians for granted,” the paper said, warning the citizens are watching the machinations.

The editorial stated that “Malawians are the biggest losers” having been given a “raw deal.” But, it said, posterity will be the best judge.

On the other hand, Malawi flagship newspaper  Daily Times  screamed with an editorial headline: ‘A nation betrayed and duped’.

The comment went to state that it was clear in the first place that Mutharika administration was afraid of Electoral Reforms Bills and “played all cards in the book of crooks “to derail the enactment of the legislation.

Now that the bill proposing 50 percent majority in presidential election has been blocked, the paper says the nation should reflect on why it has happened.

“First, what is pronounced in all this is betrayal. Secondly, what we see is crookedness on the party of the [DPP] government,” reads the comment in part.

It noted that Malawi as a nation has mastered the art of deception and has full of politicians – both in government and opposition – “who do not have integrity and move around with a price tag hanging on their heads.”

The paper said MPs from both sides of the House have let down the nation “greatly”.

“Those who decided to abstain and those who were absent are actually the people that posterity will blame for their acts of cowardice, selfishness and betrayal,” it said.

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Prince of Thieves
Guest
Uladi is the worst human being Malawi has produced. He is very greedy. any it does not surprise me because PP and DPP are offshoots of UDF. We all know that Bakili is the King of thieves. In 1995 Bakili bribed AFORD and Pitala has bribed PP and UDF. AFORD is dead after being sucked all the blood. PP and UDf are dying as their blood is being sucked. The sucking of blood is real and it is Lomwes who suck blood. The blood of all Malawians is being sucked and people are dying of unforeseen poverty and we are… Read more »
Kasungu Boy
Guest
In Malawi we actually had a respectable voter turnout in 2014, about 70% of eligible voters went to the polls. There were more than 10 candidates/parties on the ballot. The big man himself only took 30% of the vote. Is there a party well-liked enough to actually get more than 50% of the entire vote? I don’t think so. I don’t trust politicians, no matter your party. The motivation to run for office is self-enrichment. Only a liar can say they are a politician and they are looking out for my best interest. The politicians are eating rice with chicken… Read more »
Kunena Mosapsyatila
Guest
Fools, greedy, selfish, educated embiciles and the list is endlbyess, that’s what I can call Malawian MPs who shot down the ERB. You have shown how coward, uncaring, money orioented, foolish and uncivilized you are. Fellow brothers in SADC are really laughing at this sinking ship called Malawi. With these kind of unobjective MPs in Parliament, I don’t see any meaningful businesse being achieved in this country. These gluttons can sell their souls as cheap as K200 000. This is very pathetic. I also blame our passivity Malawians which is caused mainly by higher levels of illiteracy, that makes politicians… Read more »
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA

We can not stab ourselves to death. Neither do we need assisted suicide. Wait till you get into government and then you will have a go at the electoral reforms with your mother’s in parliament.

We will not allow those reforms anytime soon until when we are dead tired of ruling and stealing frim the public coffers and all our relatives from our villages are fully employed in the Civil Service and parastatals.

Phwisa
Guest

Ndiye aziti ma demo ena. Bwinotu PAC. Azibusa a dyera. And you now say ma demo akuvuta kwa ,agetsi. I dont think all your members are as stupid as you PAC leaders. You can not dangle them as a carrot or can not just be following you ngati mchila.

Cashgate Sitichita Tili Ndimanja Ogwirira Ntchito
Guest
Cashgate Sitichita Tili Ndimanja Ogwirira Ntchito

Malawi will move nowhere. It will be duped. It will have its ruling class enriching themselves the way they like. It will have its natural resources used and abused. Its urban population will drink feaces and plunged into darkness.

You want to know the reason? It is the only country whose university youths lack “youthquake mentality” instead choosing to align themselves with cadets!

Awize
Guest

I knew it won’t be successful. Make sure that your hands are clean before confronting others. Atleast demos for power blackouts NOT 50+1% electoral reforms bill. Its an unpopular bill to many Malawians of good will. Bravo our MPs for shooting it down. Other people are serving their masters interest here to enrich themselves. Malawians are the biggest winners here. Thank you

Hatton
Guest

Mr Chakwera is a crock and hypocrite. From the word go he hated the electoral reform bill as was disclosed by the Nation on Sunday. Recall how he dumped CCAP for Assemblies of God. He used very silly reasons.
Can you imagine the whole Leader of Opposition allowing MPs from his never win party be absent. This was a crocked way of defeating the bill. Ameneyo ndiye Chakwera, tambwali wobadwa mwatsopano.
MCP, watch out!!!

Chigumula 2
Guest
You can fool some people some times, but you cannot fool all the people all the times. Our plans are not God’s plan neither are our ways God’s ways. What God has rejected, cannot force itself to remain in power. Check in the Bible the story of King Saul & King David. The one God has anointed will surely become Malawi’s leader! Grace Mugabe tried all the dirty tricks she knew to make herself a president, but God’s finger did not point at her! DPP, you have not won. You cannot continue to take people for granted. We are paying… Read more »
Fake Petros
Guest
If one may be still asking questions why Malawi despite its political stability remains one of the poorest countries in the world.? Going through this article and some of the comments that follow, the answer is more than CLEAR.. It’s full of selfish, primitive and retrogressive people, starting with voters at community level who literally do not even understand the value of their vote; to greedy, re-cycled corruption-intoxicated politicians with zero integrity, thinking only about their bellies and zippers for mahule. No wonder our neighbouring countries laugh at us. Pa Zambia pompa the 50+1 system is already used. In fact,… Read more »
Nachisale
Guest

Fake Petros, 50+1 cannot solve our political and economic problems. The disasters you are talking about are happening all over the world. The problems Malawi has today are a creation of, or a result of the stupidity of previous governments. The opposition is equally self-interested and without any real vision for Malawi. All the noise they are making is about wanting to be in power so that they can say ‘it’s our turn to eat.’

Lhomwe Belt President
Guest
Lhomwe Belt President

So all that noise Chakwera you could not organise your MPS to champion this bill. How can someone chicken out on such an important matter? You have shown how divided you are as an opposition and that you can easily be manipulated.

Govt MPs were simply praising their master whom they feel may fall victim of. Their position was clear, they played all tricks to shoot it down.

We will make an overhaul in 2019

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