Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba says the National Assembly will ask the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to appoint another leader of opposition ahead of the Mid-Year Budget Review Meeting of the National Assembly which traditionally takes place from mid-February.
This follows the decision by Lazarus Chakwera to resign as Leader of Opposition in the 193 strong House as well as memberof parliament to comply with a law as he is contesting in presidential election.
Section 80 (7)(e) of the Constitution reads: “No person shall be eligible for nomination as a candidate for election as President or First Vice-President or for appointment as First-Vice President or Second Vice-President if that person is a holder of a public office or a member of Parliament unless that person first resigns.”
Clerk of Parliament said MCP will be asked to elect another leader among its membership in the House as a replacement.
“His resignation will not affect the meeting of parliament because the National Assembly will ask the MCP to choose another leader of parliament,” she said.
The position of leader of opposition is critical as the holder is a crucial member of the Business Committee which sets out business to be discussed in the National Assembly.
President Peter Mutharika is yet to nod for a meeting of parliament for midyear budget review when the legislators are supposed to scrutinise how the government has used the K1.3 trillion national budget for the past six months since it was passed.
During the meeting, Gondwe is expected to explain how he will balance the 2018/19 National Budget following the withdrawal of a K60 billion budgetary support pledge by the World Bank.
The minister also owes Malawians an explanation on over-expenditure by about 80 percent of entities such as State Residences, Malawi Police Services and Malawi Defence Force.
This cohort of parliament will stand dissolved on March 20 at the end of its five-year lifespan to pave the way for the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chakwera faces stiff competition from President Peter Mutharika and vice president Saulos Chilima in the presidential race according political analysts.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :