MCP advocates for universal legitimacy: 50 + 1 law to elect Malawi president

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said it will add its weight in pushing for  amending the electoral law on electing a Head of State from the current first-past-the-post and adopt a 50 per cent plus one law to ensure that the winner of presidential elections enjoyed majority support.

MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said the party will raise the issue to the Business Committee of Parliament this September to kickstart the process of Constitutional amendment.

She said the new law will ensure that Malawi no longer is ruled by “a President rules with few votes” but rather a leader who has “universal support”.

Kabwila:  Universal support
Kabwila: Universal support

Where in a general election there is no candidate  who gather 50 percent, there should be a run off for the top two candidates to determine the winner.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) have been advocating for the reforms of electoral laws “especially the eight day rule and the first-past-the-post system.”

The rights campaigners call for  Malawi to adopt the 50+1 percent system.

Malawi’s interfaith organization, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) have recognised that 50 per cent plus one rule guarantees the leader acceptable, popular, majoritarian mandate.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika was declared the winner of Malawi’s May 20 disputed presidential election after defeating president Joyce Banda.

Mutharika, the brother of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, took 36.4 percent of the votes cast, Lazarus Chakwera of MCP garnered 27.8 percent of the vote and Banda’s 20.2 percent.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has said amending electoral law is “not a priority” for the Mutharika administration.

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