Malawi Congress Party (MCP)president Lazarus Chakwera has asked the government to speed up electoral law amendments that should include changing the current way of 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.
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.
He 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”.
Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition in parliament, said there was also need to extend time limit when elections results are to be announced, saying they should be announced after all queries have been attended to.
“The Malawi Electoral Commission should announce the results from constiruencies in the presence of both local and international observers,” said Chakwera.
He said these electoral reforms are a matter of urgency and warned if the government fails to table them, the MCP would bring the bill through the private member’s bill.
Chakwera said if election were held today, the DPP would be kicked out of government but said there was need to put in place electoral laws that would bring credibility to the poll result.
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, 2014 presidential election after defeating 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.