The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has advised political parties in the country to operate based on democratic values rather than personal interests.
The quasi-religious body also observed that there is “breakdown of social cohesion” in opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
The observation was made during an interface meeting between Pac and MCP President Dr Lazarus Chakwera on the proposed Local Government Act and Electoral Reforms.
Pac Chairperson Very Reverend Felix Chingota observed that unity within political parties is essential for the pursuit of these reforms.
“It is our belief that policy influence can only be achieved if intra-party democracy is entrenched in these political institutions.
“Consultations within the party to support contentious reforms require unity and an honest conversation on transformative leadership,” observed Chingota.
He warned political parties that Malawians are “closely watching your conduct on reforms and they are in control of their voting power during elections”.
“They will respect you if you support the reforms they wish to see pass in parliament in particular 50%+1 and removal of MPs voting powers at council level. This is not to ignore other reforms contained in various reports submitted to parliament,” said Chingota.
Chingota then urged the MCP President to “persuade” the party’s members of parliament to support the proposed LGA and Electoral Reforms.
Pac and various stakeholders against the voting powers of Members of Parliament at Council level; recruitment of CEO of District or Town Councils by the Executive Arm of the government.
Stakeholders, as indicated in the consultation reports on these reforms, are also against the current “first past the post” electoral system.
Chingota said ignoring the proposed reforms as the 2019 elections approach will tantamount to a deliberate disregard of the wishes of Malawians.
“We would like to seek your support to the implementation of LGA and Electoral reforms, but in particular to ensure that the issue of removal of MPs voting powers at council level; the recruitment of Chief Executive Officers and District Commissioners by the council ; and 50%+1 respectively pass during the November 2017 sitting of parliament,” pleaded Chingota.
Pac is an umbrella organisation for the major faith communities represented in the country by the Muslim Association of Malawi; the Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi; the Malawi Council of Churches; the Evangelical Association of Malawi; and the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
Its mission statement is to “mobilise the general public through the religious community and other stakeholders in promoting democracy, development, peace and unity through civic education, mediation and advocacy.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :