Lilongwe South MP Peter Dimba on Thursday chickened out last minute when he was to move a Private Members motion that would have seen sweeping electoral reforms including the swearing in of a president elect after 21 days.
Currently, the law allows a president-elect to be sworn in soon after the official announcement of the results by the chairman of the Malawi Electoral Commission.
President Peter Mutharika was inaugurated barely less than 24 hours after he was pronounced winner in the controversial 2014 presidential poll.
The failure by Dimba to be in the House in the afternoon caused a stir as members of parliament from the government side took the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to task in the Chamber on the whereabouts of Dimba.
Some legislators alleged MCP officials in the House kept him away from the Chamber as he was seen in the premises of the National Assembly.
Speaker Richard Msowoya managed to bring peace and moved on to other business.
The motion wanted to delay the swearing in of a president elect in order to accomodate challenges and law suits to the results.
Dimba also wanted the government to establish tally centres in each and every constituency.
His motion says results should be announced right away in each constituency of the 193 constituencies.
In addition, he wants the tally figures of the results of the election to immediately follow words.
“We do not want to give room to manipulation of figures. For instance, if they put 700, someone can manipulate it and add another zero which can read 7000.”
Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah said what Dimba was briging in his motion was duplication of work.
“We are already working on those issues. We already sought views from various stakeholders and the Law Commission are now pursuing those matters,” she said.
Malawi Electoral Support Network executive director said what the legislator was bringing in was confusion as MEC and the Law Commission were dealing with similar issues and the process was to be completed next year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :