Women Lawyers Association backs dragging DPP MPs to court for contempt

Women Lawyers Association has put its full weight behind the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for taking Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of parliament to court for contempt for failure to implement Constitutional Court order on electoral reforms bills.

Malunga: Back HRDC

Women Lawyers Association’s Dr Benedetta Malunga said the HRDC have good reasons for the court action.

“The members of parliament are under court obligations to pass the electoral reform bills,” said Malunga.

The association was the friends of court during the presidential election case.

At least 85 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of parliament who on Thursday shot down a constitutional amendment to have a provision for a run-off in case no presidential candidate garners over 50 percent of the total votes cast, have been dragged to court for contempt.

Lawyer Ayuba James also said Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has also instructed him to take the 12 members of parliament who abstained to court for the same offence of contempt of court.

“This amendment did not just come from the ordinary, it was an order of the Constitutional Court. The National Assembly was duty bound to pass the bill,” he said.

The amendment bill was defeated after it failed to garner two thirds majority vote in the House.

Any constitutional amendment requires two thirds majority which means 128 legislators in Malawi.

But 109 parliamentarians voted in favour of the amendment while 71 rejected. 11 were absent while one abstained.

Ayuba said any court interpretation becomes law automatically.

He said anyone, including parliament, are duty bound to respect court orders.

In its judgement of the presidential election case on 3rd February,2020,the Constitutional Court clarified that Section 80(2) of the constitution already provides for the 50+1 system of voting but asked legislators to come up with a law that would necessitate a run-off in case no candidate gets over half of the total votes.

This is what has been defeated.

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JustinTug
Guest

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Tizanka
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Tizanka

So in today’s democracy judges will start making laws and be ordering parliament around? Quiet interesting

Odysseus
Guest
Odysseus

They want to sue the MPs for doing their job. Unless you tell me that the duty of the MP was to rubber stamp what the concourt said, I see no logic in dragging those MPs to court. @Ebrahim Isa, there is separation of power between the courts, Executive and Parliament. The August house make laws, the Executive implements them while the Judiciary/Court interprets and clarifies them, this means that the three work interchangeably. The courts can go to Parliament if the need is there, similarly the MPs can go to court to seek clarifications on issues they feel are… Read more »

Analyst
Guest
Analyst

Women lawyers indeed. Ma lawyer achikazii, azii. Thinking ya chikazi. There s no way I can hire a female lawyer atha kukumangitsa usanalakwe. They should know that parliament is independent and immune. Nobody, not even the president pushes parliament to make law. Why cant those judges make it a law themselves?

Women, please avoid becoming overzealous.

Mitengo
Guest
Mitengo

The case has been referred to the Supreme Court. That’s why MEC and APM appealed to stop all judgement orders in motion because of this. No wonder DPP rejected the bill because to them, the judgement is figuratively pending the SC of appeal. Now going to court now will not speed up the process. It will even be delayed.

Pumbwa
Guest
Pumbwa

Tell your judges that they made a huge mistake. They must be so humiliated to realise that they at their level, they do not understand the principle of separation of powers.

Nanu
Guest
Nanu

This is why our country is poor. Female lawyers who do not know that MPs have the right to reject laws. How stupid of Malunga to spit such garbage.

Ebrahim Isa
Guest
Ebrahim Isa

but one may wonder why is it MPs run to courts whenever their seats declared vacant by the speaker using section 65 if the court is not above the other two arms of government?

Tate
Guest
Tate

That is not a constitutional matter that affects all of us. Courts do not make laws. Courts cannot force parliament to enact laws. Courts cannot force MPs to endorse bills. MPs have the right to reject bills. That’s is very simple to understand. MPs represent their people.

Noxy
Guest

DPP will not allow their victory to be robbed daylight because elections were not rigged.The winner and the loser Los.So the winner should not be deniedof their victory.The 50+1 cannot be imposed now this is daylight robbery.Women Lawyers let justice prevail the judgement infringes justice.The world is watching you.

Mpweya zii
Guest
Mpweya zii

Bakha

Joni
Guest
Joni

Uziwona, chaka chake ndi chinotu basi!!

Hate it or take it but it's a fact
Guest

Zimangeni or declare their sit in parliament vacant , aziwe polekera asamapange mwano.