Members of Parliament (MPs) have adopted two motions that will amend the Electoral Commission Act and the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA) as part of the electoral reforms as provided by the High Court in readiness for fresh elections due by July 2.
The Electoral Commission Act has been passed after Parliament went into division, a method of taking a vote that physically counts members voting.
Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara announced the result that “91 members voted for yes, 84 voted for no, 15 were absent and one abstained.”
The ruling Democratic Porgressive Party members were voting ‘no’ against the electoral reforms bills and were supported by some of the legislators working with it who include independent Mzimba West’s Billy Kaunda, Mathews Ngwale of Chiradzulu West and R Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua of People’s Party (PP).
Others who votes ‘no’ included Eurita Ntiza Valeta (Nsanje South West), Kenneth Ndovi, an from Karonga Nyungwe, (Mangochi East) Francesca Masamba Theula, Mulanje South East MP Naomi Kilekwa, Gladys Ganda of Nsanje Lalanje, Welani Chilenga of Chitipa South and MP for Balaka West Bertha Ndebele.
The motion for amendment of Electoral Commission Act was moved as a private members motion by Crispin Chanju Mphande of UTM Party.
The other motion was moved by Lilongwe City South West MP Nancy Tembo (independent).
The House is yet to deliberate the proposal to have 50 percent-plus-one majority in the presidential election.
But the tone of some DPP legislators show that they are not ready for this change in elections management and that the government side is reportedly planning to shoot down the 50+1 election system bill.
Parliament has since adjourned to Thursday after leader of the house Kondwani Nankhumwa proposed that the remaining motion be dealt next day.
Proposals to have the reforms date back to 2004 and the subsequent Constitutional Review Conference in 2007.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :