UDF says 50+ 1 law already in Malawi Constitution: ‘Zambia successfully implemented electoral system’

United Democratic Front (UDF) leader in parliament Lillian Patel has said  the country is facing a political crisis as the lawmakers on Thursday rejected a bill that would have meant a president could only be re-elected after securing at least 50 percent of votes cast, dismissing a landmark order by the Constitution Court.

Patel: Fisp must not stop

Patel in her contributions to the Electoral Reforms Bill in Parliament, said the political crisis the parliamentarians have an obligation placed upon them by the people who to fix the problems.

She said UDF party is committed to its principles and values which included respect for the rule of law, pointing out that the 50+ 1 law is already in the constitution.

“The UDF will always respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. The constitution of Malawi carries the aspirations of the people we represent here,” said Patel.

“It will be an act of betrayal if we come here and behave contrary to the wishes of our people. This country is divided along ethic and regional lines and this division need political solution,” Patel added.

In its historic ruling, earlier this month the Constitutional Court overturned last year’s election of President Peter Mutharika and also ordered that a candidate should be chosen by more than 50% of the ballots cast.

Under the current first-past-the-post electoral system for choosing a president Mutharika won the election with 38.5% of the votes cast, a narrow win against his closest opponent Lazarus Chakwera.

Just 109 parliamentarians of the 193-House voted in favour of the bill, failing to reach the two-thirds majority of 128 required to amend the constitution.

Patel persuaded the legislators to ensure an amendment to pave way for a runoff in case no candidate achieves just above the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid another poll.

Under the 50+1 electoral system, the triumphant contender is decided on the basis of getting a majority 50 percent plus one of the votes to win.

“It will help to make sure that the president is supported by the majority of the voters. It will bring peace and stability in this country” she said.

Patel said the country need to move on and focus on development.

UDF leader in the House said neighbouring Zambia’s successfully adopted and implemented 50-plus-one electoral system and said the Zambians have offered Malawi a big lesson to also “adopt the same” because the system has a major advantage in the context of where the voting pattern tends to be in dispute.

“Our neighbours in Zambia have embraced the system and it is working perfectly well. If we take the path of putting spanners on this process we risk facing catastrophic results,” said Patel.

She said UDF does not want to be remembered by the future generations as a party which used its numbers in the National Assembly to suppress the will of the people of Malawi hence supporting Electoral Reforms Bill.

Previously, Zambia, just like Malawi, had been using the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) or winner-takes-all system to elect presidents, members of Parliament (MPs) and ward councillors.

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Malawian
Guest
Malawian

This is what the five judges said that 50+1 is already in the laws it just needed to be interpreted

Che Wanimiliyoni
Guest
Che Wanimiliyoni

If MCP and Chakwera can’t accept losing by a whooping 160,000 votes will he accept losing by 50-1?
Don’t u think there will be even more violence?
It’s sad when the whole speaker instead of fighting for legislative independence she is being cowed by concourt’s bellicose language into submission: “..a court andituma…” Reminding me of another former lady president: “…azungu andituma…”
Ntchito zaamuna izi! Kkkkk

Mcford
Guest

With precedential reference to the 1994 presidential case involving Chakuamba and others v Mec,mahority was not defined within the 50+1 purview ,as far as that was a lost opportunity to clear this log,the judges haven’t overruled that,neither have it interpreted within such a purview,it was simply a recommendatory order.the system is not a law in Malawi unless the Parliament adopted it

Noxy
Guest

The 50+1 is good but shouldn’t be applied now because this is seen as robbing DPP’s victory.2024 would have been the right time not now,pikene njomba.

KKKK
Guest
KKKK

Tiyetikavotetu mukuvutikila chiani ngati 50+1 ,ilipo? Learn to tell the truth. Ngati zikhale chonchi game ya gona. Yakomela APM SKC. Azingonya money mpaka mudzapenye ndipamene mudzazindikire kuti mgwilizano simupanga afuta chisankho

Mtete
Guest
Mtete

At the rate things are going, DPP may find itself loosing heavily to the extent that there may not be need for a run off. I think it’s time DPP/APM saw the writing on the wall and behaved sanely. This Pig headedness should stop.

Mapopa
Guest
Mapopa

Iwe ukunama kwambiri

Mpweya zii
Guest
Mpweya zii

Let’s wait and see

Mama
Guest
Mama

ConCourt judges have been exposed as fraud and incompetent. They need to go back to school. Courts CANNOT tell MPs how to vote. MPs have a sovereign right to vote, and for that matter, reject bills.

Lego
Guest

You are a fool

Mulopwana
Guest

This lady represent the people while the rest of MP represent their parties and not their constituents.

Mitengo
Guest
Mitengo

If 50%+1 is what people want so be it; however it will only resolve the process to elect the president on run-off. It won’t resolve the political divide we have. Political solution through a new policy on how the next president governs this country should be put in place. If this is not done, forget that 50%+1 will unify the country. The next President will still affiliate himself with the areas, regions he obtained passion votes(first choice votes). The doubted votes( second choice) will not remove the divide. Even the 50%+1 in Zambia has not resolved the problem. The areas… Read more »

The wise can read the writings
Guest
The wise can read the writings

Objection, 50 + 1 will unify the country. You will come to know that politicians will start to work together, you will note that the governing party will try to implement projects in most areas that they will win the hearts of many. You will note that nobody will just work up and form a party. You will note that parties will major and finally there will be opposition and governing parties. Where by they will try to reach out the country in order to serve the ball at their court yard. Finally us unprevilaged will benefit

Kumzy kumzy
Guest
Kumzy kumzy

Grt patel

Okay
Guest
Okay

The majority of Malawians are poor and peasant farmers living on less than a dollar a day. They don’t care about rerun or runoff elections. It is wrong for the judges or the parties to conclude Malawians that they want 50+1. It is clear the elite want this useless law hoping it will topple dpp. If indeed Malawians accept this law then better call for referendum to test their views. Za 50+1 let’s leave it for developed nations where standard of life is already good they can afford to vote three times just to pick the right winner. For Malawi… Read more »