Parliament passes Refrendum Bill, rejects Malawi Electoral Commission bill

Parliament on Wednesday deliberated  two of the six Bills of the Electoral Reforms Bill  which the Malawi Law Commission recommended but passed one and referred the other to Legal Affairs Committee for further scrutiny.

Agnes Nyalonje: operational independence of MEC could not be assured

The House passed the Referendum Bill which now is a legislation on how to conduct a referendum as there was not law on that. It  will now provide the way how to hold a referendum with an indication of which matters would be subject to a vote, restrictions and the conduct of sucha  referendum.

During debate on the Referendum Bill  several opposition members  contributing asked for amendments  and that  it should include the proposed clause that the President proclaim a referendum only after submission of a petition to him/her signed by not less than 500 000 registered voters.

The proposal floated by  Lilongwe North East member of Parliament (MP) Maxwell Thyolera (Malawi Congress Party –MCP) was  welcomed by Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, who,  however, preferred the figure ti be at 1 mmillion registered voters.

“ I would be comfortable if the threshold was raised  to more than that,” said Tembenu, arguing that Malawi has a growing population.

And when the second deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya, presiding, asked for voice votes for an amendment to reflect 1 million as number of signatories to a petition to the President, the “ayes” did not necessarily have it and opposition  thought the result was unclear at best.

Then division vote was called where 92 voted yes for no amendment against 55 votes.

The chair told the MPs that the Bill passed without amendment.

Parliament , however, rejected to pass the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill  with opposition feeling government has butchered what was proposed by the Special Law Commission.

The Special Lae Commission  recommended the enactment of the Elections Management Fund to ensure Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is financially autonomous.

It also proposed changes in the appointment of the MEC chairperson as well as composition of the commissioners.

Opposition were not comfortable with Chief Secretary to government’s role to MEC operations that the head of civil service  would form part of the selection panel for the appointment of commissioners.

Including the Chief Secretary in the selection panel of commissioners would defeat the  purpose of the recommendation by the Law Commission, the opposition argued.

Mzimba North legislator Agnress Nyalonje (Peoples Party –PP) said the operational independence of MEC could not be assured when the Executive was involved in the process of selecting commissioners,

But Tembenu said Chief Secretary as head of the public service was better placed to be the one responsible.

“The Chief Secretary has a role to play in the administrative affairs of the Electoral Commission,” said Tembenu.

The House agreed the Bill be sent to Legal Affairs Committee for further scrutiny.

The Law Commission recommended the following Bills collectively called Electoral Reforms Bills: Constitution (Amendment), Electoral Commission (Amendment), Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA) and Local Government Elections Act, Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) and Referendum.

The most contentious of the Bills relate to the amendment of Section 80 (2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the PPE Act to provide for a change of the electoral system from a simple majority to a majority of more than 50 percent in the presidential race.

The Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) proposes amendment to the Constitution to allow that swearing in of President and Vice-President be done after 30 days not within 30 days as prescribed in Section 81 (3) of the Constitution.

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Nachisale
Guest

Kodi zikunenedwa za 50+1 being voted down in parliament ndi zoona? Can we be updated on the President and Parliament bill voting results in the house, please?

Masina
Guest

A fraction of the total number of voters would be better than a fixed number simply because this would automatically take into account the new registered voters.

LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA NGONGOLIWA
We are all on a suicide mission. It’s good the best to get 50+1 will get the Presidency. Obviously it will be our Pitala. Why? because indeed the whole Southern region has virtually no chewas. It’s all pure Lomwe belt. Even the Senas are Lomwes. Even the Yaos are now Lomwes. Even the Ngonis from Neno and Mwanza and Thyolo are all Mulhakos now. So amassing 50+1 mark will be just a walk in the park. The Northerners are negligible. But even there we have the Chitipians who love us because of the tarred road and the Solola guys for… Read more »
Aalex
Guest

mbuzi

Kwali
Guest
Section 1000, in the event that there is a re-run, Peter and Chakwera, do you think Peter can lose? You are forgetting that Southerners are all over Makawi, even in the remotest parts. On top, there is no constituency or district from where DPP cannot not amass votes. However, if you go to the South, there are districts or constituencies where MCP ad their sympathizers are non-existent. I usually go to the South. There is usually no talk of politics because people already know who to vote for. The much talked debate which people engage in in the South and… Read more »
Section 1000
Guest
Your Political Calculations are fucked up.First of all am not even sure if there will be that re-run coz this government has fucked up everything and still fucks up everyday,scandals just failing like mana.Dont touch the central region coz its doesnt care who the fuck is running as long as you are MCP,you gat 90% chance of winning and chakwera will give a a heavy blow to these mathafackaz in the central region.In the southern region there will be a big pool of voters that each party has chances of getting though DPP has a better ride in some Districts… Read more »
Section 1000
Guest
Nigga didnt see the other part where u talking of opposition campaign tool is merely bordering on electricity and water,nigga are u one of these mathafackaz or u just a born dander head?Agricultural production has been fucked up by this mathafackaz,putting export ban on maize so that the amwenyes should buy it at a cheaper price from the poor farmers and then lifting it so that ghe amwenye should sale it outside at a higher fucking price and make profits,does these mathafakaz care about Malawian farmers who are many?instead they are promoting the amwenyes in this scenario.Go to the hospitals… Read more »
Kwali
Guest

Too much fuss about nothing. Little brains talk too much with a desert of ideas. No logical arguments. Problems of today are not problems of tomorrow. Next time write sensibly so that people can follow. Your last statement is purely fallacious. Go to school man.

Kunena Mosapsyatila
Guest
@Kwali you are one of educated dundaheads embiciles moving about the streets of where ever you are staying but blind. You are driven by a regionalistic mindset without seeing the real issues that Malawians are crying about. Malawi is in a big mess far much compared to her neighbours. The electricity problem is not the only issue Malawians are facing. There are issues of corruption, nepotism, where by the Lomwes have flooded each and every high ranking office; this was a tribe which was not even known education wise in the past rather was famous of producing tenants and herbalists… Read more »
Banda Rodgers
Guest

Some support 500,000 some 1million. The question is how will these half million/one million people be selected to support the bill? Will it be ellites only? How will they go about it? Will an ordinary native poor in statue be considered? If it is referendum bill, everyone country wide need to be involved. Not a chosen few. I’m afraid this can be to the likes of a certain camp which might aim at destroying democracy, thus making others inferior. Let referendum bills be democratic sharing for the good of everyone. We will not blame anyone in future.

Nthandalanda
Guest

Mps and councillors should go under the recall provision of section 64 of our constitution which was deliberately scrapped off by these thieves. They are abusing their powers in their constituencies and wards. Actually in our Mangochi town central constituency , there is nothing in the ground. Garbage all over, no drainage system , no proper land demarcation, no proper infrastructures and many more. We need these people back. What they know best is to sell plots to Burundians. So bad.

Mc Bwampwapwa
Guest
kkkkkk. 92:55. I thought the opposition are in majority. What can you tell of this division result. More surprises are coming,and this is just ashes,the real fire is coming today and tomorrow. Can you imagine the opposition mainly MCP which makes a lot of noise had some of their MPs going out of the Chamber to avoid participating in the division vote. And to my dear MP Lucious Banda,watch out. These bills are targeting people like you. Remember in one of the bills they have put in a clause in which any person who was once convicted by the court… Read more »
Fake Petros
Guest
It is this shallow-mindedness and political myopia that is so retrogressive and fatally detrimental for genuine development of our poor ccountry. What makes selfish people like MC think that such amendments of bills ndi ‘kulimbana ndi boma’? Whatever that phrase means??? Remember UDF at some point wanted to change the constitution with their 3rd term bid aka “the ayimanso movement.” Little did Bakili and his then close cronies knew what was in store for them in the near future. UDF was not looking beyond its shoulders, NOT even beyond Atupele (his political ambitions), Muluzi’s own son. So Mr MC don’t… Read more »
Section 1000
Guest

Wether the 50+1 bill passes with or without amendments as regards to inclusion of MPs and Councilors<we Malawians we dont give a damn as long as the president come 2019 should be voted based on 50+1.After 2019 election that legislation will go back to parliament to scrap off the fucking decision of MPs and Councilors inclusion in the legislation,Therefore both ways DPP will be on the losing side coz of there poor thicking,wat dander heads they are.nonsese

VOTING TREND ESTABLISHED
Guest
VOTING TREND ESTABLISHED

The referendum bill passed without amendments. MCP proposed for amendments but after a vote 94 were against the amendment and 55 were for amendment. What does this entail? This will happen again to 50+1 . MCP will propose the amendment to the bill to scrap off MPS and Councilors. After Vote, the bill will pass without amendments.

Section 1000
Guest
The amendment was proposed by MCP and supported by the minister of justice and he gave a valid reason that 500,000 is below par considering the fact that now we are around 18 million in malawi which means it will be fucking easy to turn any national argument into a referendum which which be expensive to be having referendum frequently.The 50+1 bill amendments who so ever will introduce them,once they go to secret ballot they will pass but during deliberations MPs ruling MPs will act as they are supporting the bill as it is but dip down no MP would… Read more »
pathfinder
Guest

Section 1000 Then you are stupid if you think Chakwera will win by 50+1. Mark my words this is also suicidal approach to MCP as much as it is to any party for that matter.

Section 1000
Guest

It it not suicidal to a pragmatic person but can vote DPP with there sleeping president?The northern region cant vote DPP,ananyelera kale with quota system and the south region ikhala yogawana tizipani takomeneko and nsanje and chikwawa forget DPP there.Dont touch the central region coz it belongs to MCP no matter who the fuck is running.So get your stupid fucking political calculations to hell,DPP cant win come 2019 thats why there are internal fights in the party.They dont have direction

Green Kunyenga
Guest

Who in his right might can once again vote for the DPP with its sleeping,clueless president. May be if you can change the captain but Pitala has proved to be too ineffective.

hama
Guest

So you think that will will be good for the nation or DDP? whichever PITALA wanuyo sangawine its only lame persons can vote for a sleeping president.

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