United Democratic Front (UDF) which is in electoral alliance with the governing Democratic Party (DPP) has stuck to its liberal democracy policy and supported government Constitution Amendment Bill which proposed electoral reforms, but it will not back proposal to remove the 50%+1 system of electing the president as already interpreted by the court.
UDF leader in the House, Ned Poya said in Parliament on Wednesday that the party would not favour the polarising First-Past-the Post (FPTP) but the majority 50 –percent-plus one system
“Madam Speaker, Malawians are tired out there. Malawians would want to see the country going forward.
“Malawians are tired with the impasse on the ground. It is high time we moved forward as a country,” said Poya.
He said the UDF support government to ensure it puts legal instruments allowing fresh presidential elections to be credible, free and fair.
“The UDF supports the cleaner and the neater way of doing things. We don’t like to do things in a shortcut way, Madam Speaker,” he said.
But Poya said the majority system of electing a President is the way to go.
“To say the fact, Madam Speaker, I, in my personal capacity, I really wanted this country to pass the 50+1 legislation before even I became an MP.
“The UDF supports the bill on condition that the 50+1 is still there. Madam Speaker, in following the cleaner and neater way of doing things, lastly the UDF supports the Bill,” Poya received applause from the lawmakers.
To change Section 80 of the Constitution to set the date of the election as June 23 and to define majority, government needed the support of two-thirds majority or 126 MPs—like is the case with any other constitutional amendment.
However, the Bill received approval from 92 legislators while 82 voted ‘NO’ and 14 were absent.
Section 80(2) of the Constitution provides that “the President shall be elected by a majority of the electorate through direct, universal and equal suffrage” and the courts have interpreted “majority” to mean 50-percent-plus-one.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :