Members of Parliament must serve the country
Reports that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is wooing Members of Parliament (MPs) from other parties are not new. In the past, ruling parties have done this and they will continue doing so. And, as they say, everyone has freedom of choice.
However what, is wrong is the suspected malicious intentions of the move which many think is to get the numbers required to shoot down the Electoral Reforms Amendment Bills when they are brought to Parliament.
For many years, Malawians of goodwill have been fighting to get the bills tabled in Parliament so that they become law. Crucial in the bills is the change of our voting system from the simple majority to 50+1 percent as well as the extension of time between the announcement of presidential election results and the day of swearing in.
Any honest Malawian will accept that the current system is flawed and has resulted in the country being led by presidents who have been snubbed by the majority. The results, as we can all see and admit, have been scandalous. Secondly, after elections, there have been disputes which have never been resolved to the satisfaction of aggrieved parties. For instance, just in 2014, the contentious results of the elections were announced at mid-night and, even before dew had vanished from the grass, there was an impromptu swearing in ceremony at the High Court. It raised suspicions and, up to now, some in the country are not convinced with how the elections were held.
So, to avoid such scenarios, there is need to put in place good laws that will clean up all the dark spots in our electoral system.
A chance to make our elections acceptable and credible has presented itself in the form of the Elections Reforms Amendment Bills. It is, therefore, important that the government should not employ tactics to shoot down the bills.
MPs must know that they are in Parliament to represent the people and not to enrich themselves by being bought like some items in a shop. Malawians are observing and have placed all their hope in the MPs to help bring sanity to our electoral system.
All we are saying is that we expect the MPs to put issues of national interest first. To those wayward MPs, who want to fatten themselves, let them choke with the scones they have been given to eat.
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