Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has expressed disappointment with President Joyce Banda and her People’s Party government for showing lack of political will to hold the long-awaited Local Government Election (LGE) in 2014.
Malawi was expected, for the first time since the re-introduction of multiparty politics in 1994, to hold tripartite elections in 2014 but government says that would not be possible.
The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament report tabled in the House said that the first tripartite voting should be shifted to 2019 in order to conduct hitch-free polls. Government has backed the report.
But MCP parliamentary spokesman, Jolly Kalero, challenged the PP led government to ensure that parliament amend the Constitution to allow for the holding of the tripartite elections – where voters would elect the president, Members of Parliament and Councillors at the same time.
“Malawians have been waiting for these tripartite elections for a long time,” Kalelo told Daybreak Malawi programme on Capital FM. “We are not doing justice to Malawians.”
Kalelo said MCP wants the local polls to be held in 2014 because it’s a constitutional requirement to have councilors and Mayors.
“As Malawi Congress Party, we are for idea that we should hold tripartite election in 2014. Parliament must pass the legislative towards this issue because it’s long overdue. If we postpone again people will feel betrayed,” Kalelo said.
However, Henry Phoya, who is government leader in the House, said the government does not have enough time to prepare for the tripartite elections.
Phoya said government will ensure the country hold its local polls “in the near future.”
“Our problem has essentially been lack of political will. There is a new wind blowing in the government at the moment. This government would like to see local authorities working effectively,” said Phoya.
He said “logistics” in terms of civic education would be the major factor of not going ahead of tripartite elections in 2014.
But Kalelo said that were “lame excuses.”
“There is enough time to hold civic education to Malawians,” said Kalero, adding “a good government must do what people expect it to do.”
Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) has also said it will ensure that government complies with the law to hold local polls.
Originally the Constitution demanded for the Local Government Elections be held a year after the holding of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. But Parliament, dominated by former president late Bingu wa Mutharika’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), amended the Constitution to empower the president to set date for the elections.
Malawi has held no local elections since the year 2000 leaving Malawian cities in the queer state of being without mayors since the last councillors left office in 2005.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :