Three MPs return to DPP in fear of Sec. 65

Three members of parliament who defected from former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to join People’s Party (PP) have retreated and went back to their party as he Speaker is set to apply  Section 65 of the Constitution which regulates MPs from crossing the floor.

Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda told Parliament on Thursday that Dr Bofomo Nyirenda of Mzimba Luwerezi, Godfrey Mkhondya from Chitipa –Wenya and Otria Moyo Jere of Kasungu West constituency wrote him that he should re-allocate them to DPP.

“I wish to inform the House that the three are no longer PP MPs but that they now belong to DPP,”  the Speaker informed members.

Meanwhile, Bofomo says he is an independent MP.

The development comes after Council for Non-governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) chairperson Voice Mhone challenged MPs to allows Speaker declare their seats vacant  seek a fresh mandate through by-elections.

Otria Jere: Back to DPP
Bofomo Nyirenda: Back to DPP

Last week the Speaker wrote 45 MPs, who declared themselves PP members to defend themselves against a petition from the former DPP) that seeks to have the parliamentarians’ seats declared vacant.

The concerned MPs received the letters on Friday, June 8 2012, and have up to Tuesday next week to respond.

Chancellor College law lecturer Dr. Mwiza Nkhata argues it is “a betrayal of trust for such parliamentarians to subsequently and unilaterally change their affiliation without the endorsement of their constituents.”

Nkhata told The Nation recently that “such a betrayal of trust also undermines the link that elected representatives must always have with their constituents.”

He said Section 65 does not completely bar parliamentarians from changing their affiliation but that “it merely creates space for such parliamentarians to seek a fresh mandate should they decide to change their affiliation.”

According to Nkhata the section prevents ‘political immorality’ among parliamentarians.

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