Democratic Progressive Party courting Malawi Congress Party Members of Parliament
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is said to be wooing 11 Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Members of Parliament (MPs) in an effort to garner a two-thirds majority needed to stifle the Elections Reforms Bills when they will be tabled in Parliament.
The DPP needs a two-thirds majority to prevail and reject the contentious Elections Reforms Bills.
The DPP has 66 seats in Parliament and, despite being in a working relationship with the United Democratic Front, the DPP will still need 62 MPs from the MCP, People’s Party (PP) plus independents to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to reject the bills.
Last week, some PP MPs met President Peter Mutharika at the State House in Lilongwe in what many believed was a meeting to seal a deal of a convenient alliance.
Their meeting was confirmed by PP vice president for the Northern Region, Kamlepo Kalua, and the party’s spokesperson Noah Chimpeni. They, however, declined to disclose whether the meeting also tabled the issue of the bills.
The MCP this week confirmed that the ruling party has approached some of its legislators and offered them money to reject the bills.
“We are aware that the DPP is targeting some of our MPs in their desperate attempt to defeat the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills,” MCP deputy secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, said but declined to disclose the names of MPs that have been approached.
When contacted for the party’s side of the story, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila cut our phone call.
The PP’s decision to meet Mutharika has split the party’s MPs in Parliament
A Special Law Commission on the electoral laws submitted its report to government on the proposed reforms in April. Among others, the commission proposed a change from the current first-past-the-post system of electing a president to a 50 percet +1 electoral system.
This, the commission said, would help legitimise the presidency.
The commission also proposed that the country should reserve at least 28 parliamentary seats for women to increase the number of women in the National Assembly,apart from proposing that an elected president and vice president should be sworn in after 30 days to allow time for settlement of electoral disputes.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues