The jockeying to become the next Speaker of Parliament has started in earnest with one name that is quickly emerging as the frontliner to be fielded byMalawi Congress Party (MCP) is Member of Parliament for Nkhatabay South Ken Zikhale Ng’oma.
The National Assembly leadership race will not be decided until after the new legislators’ oath of office set for June 17 and 18.
After the swearing-in ceremony, the 2019-2024 cohort of legislators elected in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections will then elect the House’s Speaker, First Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker.
The maneuvering is playing out in both the MCP, which and the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has 62 members in the 193-seat National Assembly followed by MCP and independent candidates with 55 apiece.
In the new Parliament, United Democratic Front (UDF) will have 10 seats, People’s Party (PP) five, UTM Party four and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) one.
The Speaker becomes the head of the legislator, another arm of government.
“The Executive arm of government has President Peter Mutharika from the south, the vice president Everton Chimulirenji from the central region, the likely leader of opposition Dr Lazarus Chakwera from the Central region, and it would only be wise to consider somebody from the north as the Speaker of the house,” commented one MCP new lawmaker.
The new Speaker will replace Richard Msowoya who did not return to the House after opting not to contest for his Karonga Nyungwe seat which he left it to his daughter Luwano but lost on UTM ticket.
But Zikhale, who is making a debut in Parliament, played down the link to the Speaker’s job.
“It’s always good when people see something in you, however while it is flattering that I am being spoken highly of as being the potential speaker, it is not up to me to make that decision. My party MCP has its procedures and will shortlist potential candidates first, however, if it happens that I have been shortlisted then I am available to serve my country,” said Zikhale.
An independent member of parliament from Lilongwe City south west Nancy Tembo is also tipped for the role.
Meanwhile, Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba said in a statement that prior to the swearing -in ceremony, there will be an orientation workshop for the members-elect to be held at Bingu International Convention Centre from 10th to 14th June.”
The orientation workshop is expected to equip newly-elected MPs with information on government operations and contemporary issues relevant to their parliamentary work.
The swearing-in ceremony will be followed by a meeting of Parliament to debate and approve the 2019/20 National Budget.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :