Tonse govt move to amend Elections Act: Wants 50%+1 for presidency, not MPs and Councillors 

Government, through the Minister of Justice, has quickly moved in to prepare an amendment to the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPE) which, if it passes, will see 50% +1 being applied to the presidency only not MPs and Councillors.

Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo :To take the bill -Pic by Roy Nkosi

The move follows pronouncements by the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) that it is going to use 50 %+1 to determine a winner in any parliamentary and local government election as ruled by the Supreme Court.

According to a bill Nyasa Times has seen, titled ‘An Act to amend Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act,’ it reads: “The Parliamentary and Presidential Act is amended, in Section 96, by deleting subsection (5) and replacing it with the following new subsection (5)—

“(5) Subject to the Constitution and this Act, in any election—

(a) The candidate for election to the office of the President who obtains the majority of more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast at the poll; and

(b) The candidate for election as a member of the National Assembly who obtains the greatest number of the valid votes cast at the poll,…shall be declared by the Commission to have been duly elected.”

Government wants the 50-percent-plus-one vote system to apply to presidential election while leaving parliamentary and local government elections to use first-past-the-post or simple majority.

The historic presidential election nullification judgement interpreted “majority” as 50-percent-plus-one vote and the system was used in determining the court-ordered June 23 Fresh  Presidential Election.

However, Malawi Electoral Commission  chairperson Chifundo Kachale,  a judge of the High Court of Malawi,  said parliamentary and local government results will be determined by the 50-percent-plus-one vote system. Starting with the forthcoming by-elections.

He said the decision was informed by the judgement of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court and upheld by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, that the definition of “majority” in determining a winner in the election is 50-percent-plus-one.

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Moqtadar al Sadir
8 months ago

The president is elected at national level and represents all Malawians. A Chitipa person does not need a Nsanje MP.

Mwini muzi
8 months ago

To begin with, the 50%+1 as it stands is disadvantaging some parliamentarians. Some constituency wards have larger population compared to other within the same constituency. Going by the way we vote(usually), the wards with larger population produces an MP. In this situation, the naughty MPs do not bother to bring development to the lower populated wards. It is therefore unfair to allow the same MPs to debate the bill to their advantage. Why can’t we have a referendum though expensive but we will be given the mandate to decide?

Hoke
Hoke
8 months ago

The court gave an intepretation of majority as it relates to the Presidential and Parliamentary Election and Parliament fought so hard to have that implemented.They succeeded.Now barely a year it has become a bad law?

Truth ambassador
8 months ago

Before the bill passes, what happens to MPs and councillors who did not get the 50%+1 in last year’s elections as the law was already there? Shall there be no by-elections or fresh elections in those constituencies?

cheketa Njowe
8 months ago

This just shows that Malawi cannot be regarded as a serious nation in their laws. If indeed the 50 + 1 system of selecting our president, Parliamentarians and councils will be amended, it means the 50 + 1 was put there by the courts just to unseat President Mutharika. Malawi needs to be ashamed of itself if it allows laws to change anyhow just to suit few greedy individuals. It was ruled by both the High Court and Supreme Court our system of selecting politicians is 50 + 1 and nothng should change. We need to follow that

The Sniper
The Sniper
8 months ago
Reply to  cheketa Njowe

If the laws are good for Malawians why not amend them? the 50+1 was there since the coming of Democracy in Malawi. Ngati lamuloili linali longofuna kuchotsa your Peter, then that was the best to do! Did we even had a President by that name? oh shame he is no longer and he will never be close to the State House until death do him apart! kikkkkkkk hahahahahahaha. walira Cadet.

Bentby from Chigunda Dwangwa
Reply to  cheketa Njowe

sorry mate, i guess you are lost. the law will be amended to so that it is used for presidential vote only. its not like they are reversing everything back. 50+1 is there and will be there for presidential elections only. our nation can’t afford to use 50+1 for member of parliament and councillors. anyway muchira big, nthenda imeneyo ndiyamugonagona mpaka 2025 mukadaidwala…

wayaman
8 months ago

hahaha….it was interpreted by learned Judges and kachale is a judge too….enawo akufuna apange chinyengo…..dont play around with the law….laws arent made to suit anybody..remember Democracy is expensive..who said it can not afford?

Moqtadar al Sadir
8 months ago
Reply to  cheketa Njowe

The courts don’t make laws but simply interpret them. They use precedent and case law. The word Majority is there but we misunderstood it and you still don’t understand it. These laws don’t target individuals. Is it not good for the president to be elected by over 50%?

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