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Private members business in Malawi parliament runs fast dry

Malawi  parliament meeting was forced into an early adjournment after only 45 minutes of deliberations after members ran out of private members business to discuss on Thursday, a day dedicated to Private Members’ business.

MCP parliamentarians consulting in the House.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

Thursday is a day all deliberations in the House are introduced by the private members.

However, on the day, after approximately 45 minutes gone into the scheduled three hours of deliberations, the house was adjourned after members concluded they had nothing else to discuss.

Only a few members including parliamentarian for Mulanje Bale, Victor Musowa had made their statement related to their constituencies.

Leader of the house, Kondwani Nankhumwa told journalists that government could not bulldoze its way for the deliberations to continue.

“According to parliamentary standing orders; this is always their day. The house was forced into an early adjournment because members had exhausted all private members business scheduled for the day,” he said.

He added that the government side was disappointed but could not force them into bringing issues into the house.

“We can only encourage members that this is always their day and they should be able to bring equally enough business into the house. But on our part, any day that is government business day, we will be making sure that we have enough business for the day,” said Nankhumwa.

As the House adjourned, there were only six Cabinet ministesr  in the front benches out of 20, only six  of of 20-plus MPs from People’s Party (PP), 11 out of about 50 in Malawi Congress Party (MCP), 29 out of about 50 in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and seven independent MPs.

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