The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Malawi government have set out dialogue agenda in a preparatory meeting held on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
Minister of Justice and CoNstitutional Affairs, Samuel Temebnu said the government tean will meet again with the quasi-religious body next week Wednesday.
Tembenu said during the next meeting they will discuss “in more detail”.
PAC chairperson the Reverend Felix Chingota said they have set the tone for the dialogue but hinted that electoral reforms will be highlited.
The governance watchdog has already engaged leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera and lobbied his support on the execution of the 50+1 electoral system of electing the country’s President.
PAC also discussed with Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, the issue of removing members of Parliament (MPs) voting powers at council level.
The body wants Parliamenty to pass the issues during the November 2017 meeting.
Chakwera threw his weight behind the 50+1 majority system of election, saying MCP and other opposition parties were ready to support the move once tabled in Parliament.
He said: “Basically, we believe in separation of powers and we do not have problems for us to support both the Local Government legislation and I have also already made my position known with regard to the 50+1 regarding legitimacy which we feel is extremely important and we would want to support that.”
The leader of opposition further said timely implementing of the electoral reforms and 50+1 in particular would ensure that the elected president enjoys legitimacy to govern.
The Malawi Law Commission has also backed the introduction of the 50+1 system while maintaining the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system to consolidate acceptability and legitimacy of the elected Head of State.
In the past five presidential elections since 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 just got 36.4 percent of the total votes while in 2009 his brother Bingu wa Mutharika (deceased) had unprecedented 66.17 percent coming from a meagre 35.97 percent in 2004.
In its report backing the 50+1 system, the Law Commission, among others, said it was responding to almost two decades’ calls to reform laws that regulate the administration and management of elections in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :