Malawi Parliament has passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (amendment) Bill which seeks to direct that 50-percent-plus-one vote threshold should not be used in deciding winners to parliamentary and local government elections but candidates should they be elected with a simple majority (first past the post).
The passing of the Bill to clarify Section 96(5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act entails that only presidential candidates should be elected with majority votes of 50%+1.
Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo presented the Bill in Parliament and indicated that it would be expensive to hold several parliamentary and local government elections when candidates fail to amass the majority of votes (50%±1).
In the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, the results show that only 66 candidates in the 192 constituencies contested out of 193 hit the 50-percent-plus-one vote threshold. The results show that 23 of the candidates were affiliated to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 22 to Malawi Congress Party (MCP), 17 were independents, two were for UTM Party and one each for United Democratic Front and People’s Party.
This means that if the electoral body were to apply the 50-percent-plus-one vote threshold parliamentary election reruns would have been conducted in 126 constituencies.
The judgement of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court and upheld by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, the definition of “majority” in determining a winner in the election is 50-percent-plus-one.
But the passing of the Bill entails that only presidential candidates should be elected with majority votes 50%+1.
Members of Parliament from both sides of the House were in support of the Bill.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :