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Last meeting on for House

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

President Peter Mutharika has given a nod to Speaker of the National Assembly, Richard Msowoya, to announce the date for the last meeting of the august House before the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Mutharika has given the green light after Msowoya sought his approval for Parliament to meet from mid-February to mid- March, before the dissolution of Parliament on March 20.

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State House spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, Thursday said it was up to the Speaker to decide the date when Parliament can reconvene.

“I can confirm that the President has written the Speaker’s office for Parliament to reconvene but I am not able to know what is contained in the letter. I think the Speaker of the National Assembly should be in the know as to when Parliament can reconvene,” he said.

This means the mid-term budget review meeting of Parliament might start any day from next week.

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Parliament spokesperson, Leonard Mengezi, Thursday said the House would meet for two weeks, adding “right now, we are looking at the proposed dates”.

It has been the custom over the years that Parliament meets in February for the mid-term budget review meeting, which among other issues, sees the Finance Minister adjusting allocations to various ministries and departments after taking stock of how the budget has been implemented six months into a financial year.

During the meeting of November and December last year, the House adopted a motion by Dedza East Member of Parliament, Juliana Lunguzi, to ensure that the House meets this month.

Mutharika’s greenlight means Malawi Congress Party (MCP) will have to choose a replacement for its president Lazarus Chakwera, who resigned as Leader of Opposition in line with laws, which restrict one from holding public office while vying for the State presidency.

MCP Chief Whip, Robin Lowe, told The Daily Times on Wednesday that they would wait for communication on whether Parliament would reconvene before choosing Chakwera’s replacement.

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