PAC recommends Malawi to elect president on 50% +1 law

Malawi’s interfaith organization, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has recomended that amending the electoral law on electing a Head of State from the current first-past-the-post and adopt a 50 per cent plus one law to ensure that the winner of presidential elections enjoyed majority support.

PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole disclosed this through a media statement made at the end of the conference which was held  from  23-24  July  2014  at  Mount  Soche  Hotel in Blantyre.

“The meeting recommended that the country should maintain the majoritarian system, and  move from [First Past the Post] FPTP to Two Round System to ensure that the winner of elections should be obtaining 50%+1 of the votes,” reads the statement.

Malawi quasi-religious organisation PAC
Fr Mulomole: 50 per cent plus one rule guarantees the leader acceptable, popular, majoritarian mandate.

Where in a general election there is no candidate who gather 50 percent, there should be a run off for the top two candidates to determine the winner.

“It was proposed that the Two  Round  System should apply to the  presidential and  parliamentary  elections whereas  FPTP should be maintained for the local government  and  parliamentary  elections.”

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika was declared the winner of Malawi’s May 20 disputed presidential election after defeating president Joyce Banda.

Mutharika, the brother of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, took 36.4 percent of the votes cast, Lazarus Chakwera of MCP garnered 27.8 percent of the vote and Banda’s 20.2 percent.

The religious group recognised that 50 per cent plus one rule guarantees the leader acceptable, popular, majoritarian mandate.

PAC meeting also discussed on the controversial anti defection law, Section 65 of the constitution.

“The meeting resolved that section 65 should   be amended by reverting to its original formulation (before the amendment of 2001). Further, the meeting agreed that the amended Section 65 should include independent members of parliament   for it  to  be  effective .

“The amended section should be relocated to S. 63 i.e. making floor crossing as one of the grounds upon which one can lose a seat. The meeting suggested that the reformulated section should be clear and empower the Speaker with unimpeded space to deal with floor crossing,” said the statement.

PAC said it  will  continue  to  consult  various  stakeholders  on  some  of  these  issues  for  the sake  of  common  good.

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