Opposition hits at Malawi govt for ‘betrayal’ in blocking   50+1 Bill

Malawi Parliament  has rejected yet another adulterated Bill on Electoral Reform, the Transitional Arrangement (Assumption of Offfice by the President and Vice-President Bill) with opposition accusing President Peter Mutharika led administration of “betrayal” to the wishes of Malawians expressed through recommendations of the Special Law Commission report of Electoral Reforms.

Chakwera said Mutharika address in parliament was delusional and contradictory

Government side also voted to shoot down its own proposition in the  Presidential, Parliamentray and Local Government Elections (PPLGE) Bill which was tabled by Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, having been approved by Cabinet..

Legislators, mostly on the government side, had put personal and political interest ahead of national interests giving citizens the raw deal.

Opposition leader and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazatus Chakwera said what government side members of Parliament (MPs) did in rejecting the pieces of legislation is “betral of the highest order.”

“They are sacrificing their own President and Minister of Justice. Here i s a Cabinet that says it is ready to present bills to Parliament and the same Cabinet rejects the bills,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government has “betrayed Malawians.”

In the vote of the Bill, the ‘no’ votes from government  were 97 againsy ‘yes’ 65 from opposition on Transitional Arrangement Bill while 97 government side voted against the PPLGE Bill from proceeding to committee stage as 64 from the opposition voted ‘yes’ and 29 absentees.

The Transitional Arrangement Bill created a tranisition team comprising Chief Secretary to the Government, Secretary to Treasury, Commander of Malawi Defence Force, Inspector General of Police and not more than three persons appointed by the  incumbent and president-elect.

The PPLGE Bill harmonised the two electoral legislations in line with the provision of a tripartite election in the Malawi Constitution and among other things propose 50 plus one percent system to determine the winning presidential candidate which government also extended to MPs and ward councillors.

However, Salima North-West MP Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) observed that DPP government only brought the Bills to Parliament to  hoodwink Malawians and avoid the protests which were being organised by Public Affairs Committee (PAC).

This now means the  two Bills will have to be sent back to Ministry of Justice and Contitutional Affairs for redrafting before being tabled again in the House.

The Special Law Commission recommended  the introduction of 50+1 percent system of electing the country’s President while maintaining First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system to consolidate acceptability and legitimacy of the elected Head of State.

In the report, the commission also proposes that Section 80 (2) of the Constitution should read: “[2] The President shall be elected by a majority of more than fifty percent [50 percent] of the valid votes cast through direct, universal and equal suffrage and, where such majority is not obtained by any presidential candidate in the first poll, a second poll shall be held within thirty [30] days after the declaration of the results in which the two [2] presidential candidates who obtained the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the first poll shall be the only candidates.”

The commission explained that it considered whether the FPTP system should be abandoned in favour of another system that would be more suitable for presidential elections as it was viewed that the FPTP system was no longer relevant for Malawi as experience had exposed its weakness in dealing with the challenge of regional parties, the representation of women in elected office, and the potential to produce winning candidates that do not have the support of the majority of the people who voted.

In the past five presidential elections since the adoption of multiparty democracy through the 1993 National Referendum, only in two elections the winner scooped total votes equal to more than 50 percent of the votes cast.

In the most recent elections in May 2014, President Peter Mutharika got 36.4 percent of the total votes while in 2009 Bingu wa Mutharika (deceased) had an unprecedented 66.17 percent coming from a meagre 35.97 percent in 2004.

In 1999, Bakili Muluzi amassed 52.34 percent from 47.15 percent in 1994.

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innocent m\'bama
Guest

where was kamlepo & others.

nyapapi
Guest

Don’t worry in 2019 they will be only two candidates competing for presidency…. Its 50+1 kale so don’t worry dpp iluza 2019…

Hatton
Guest

If it is betrayal then it is opposition that has done the job. Can Mr Chakwera explain where were his MPs during the voting time? How can a sane leader of opposition send his MPs to off duty at this crucial and decisive moment? Was that not a confirmation that he did not like the bill but was being forced by PAC?
A PAC mwaonatu momwe a tambwali wobadwanso mwatsopano amachitira. Better a devil you know than a brand new one in the carnation of Chakwera. Ine ndi a pabanja langa tidzavotera Mutharika.

Chaps
Guest

Leave the laws of Malawi intact please, whoever wins should follow them not changing them. PAC is talking their own mind not the peoples mind, the MPs are also talking their minds not people’s minds. Am 100% sure that none of all these groups consulted the so called masses or the voiceless even the so called poor people. It’s better to have a constitution that is stable than a staggering one. May the Good Lord continue blessing The Nation of Malawi. Amen!!!!!

Listen and Love
Guest

POWER TO THE PEOPLE. WE DEMAND REFERENDUM ON 50+1 v FPTP TO SETTLE THIS ISSUE ONCE & FOR ALL. DANCE WITH SNAKES NO MORE.

Che Wanimiliyoni
Guest
There is no betrayal regarding the 50+1 bill, it was a thing of opposition making due to mistiming. I can understand PAC for rushing the bills because they have nothing to lose. But not MCP which should have known better that you don’t make drastic changes to laws which can make the incumbent ruler fail being re-elected. May be MCP couldn’t wait for 2024 because in case MCP goofs again in 2019 their current president will be ineligible to represent the party but the best they can do is to change their constitution. As for me it is a huge… Read more »
Patrick Phiri
Guest
By proposing 50+1, it meant that after first elections fail to identify an outright winner, Malawians would have to vote again with the top two competing. Several problems arise from such an arrangement: 1. It means those who did not vote for any of the top 2 would be forced to vote for one of them in the repeat election. In other words, voters will be forced to vote for someone they did not want in the first place. 2. It is a waste of money and time to organise repeat election. 3. Candidates who did not make to the… Read more »
Patrick Phiri
Guest

It was stupidity from the word go. You can’t formulate a law just targeting APM.

Kaitano
Guest
Brothers and sisters, my fellow Malawians. I have stand on the mountain with this heart this side, i have put on black glasses so that i can be able to see far and see who is that one? When i saw that it is you, my eyes started bringing tears and my heart started working fast than ever before because i remembered one thing. This thing came in my mind when i saw an old woman waking up early in the morning on 20th May trying to be the first on the line to vote. It was a time where… Read more »
Prof. Mathanyula
Guest

This country is in the hands of thugs, thieves crooks. and if Dpp thinks that they have it the way they wanted it they will be shocked one day. Watch this space. kunali anthu kunja kuno oti samaganiza nkomwe kuti angadzatuluke mboma. Lero ali kuti???? Chipani chinatha ngati makatani. Tionana 2019.

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