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Peter Mutharika accuses opposition of plotting against him

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has questioned President Peter Mutharika’s logic over accusations that the opposition leader had planned to overthrow the government using the Electoral Reform [Amendment] Bills.

“Is he that scared? Is that his level of reasoning? Is that the level of intelligence he gets to and the conclusion he makes? How does that tally? Who does he think we are?” Wondered Chakwera when asked to comment on the President’s claims Tuesday.

Mutharika lashed out at the opposition, accusing it of plotting to topple his government by December 31 2017.

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He challenged Chakwera, the main opposition leader, who he referred to as the “foul-mouthed Reverend”, that he was ready to beat him on the electoral battlefield in 2019.

“I want to tell that Reverend who calls me names every time, the foul-mouthed Reverend, that I will meet him on the ground in 2019… I will beat the socks out of him,” said Mutharika attracting wild applause from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Cadets.

He said the push for the tabling of Electoral Reforms [Amendment] Bills and the demonstrations the Public Affairs Committee planned were part of the plot to bring him [Mutharika] down.

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Last week, the ruling DPP garnered enough numbers in Parliament and successfully rejected the Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, which wanted to reaffirm the independence of the Malawi Electoral Commission.

The lawmakers also threw out the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections Bill and the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, both seeking to replace the current electoral system with the 50 percent +1 system of electing a president, Member of Parliament and councillor.

“The so called 50+1 bill was never about electoral reforms. It was about bringing down this government by force. That was an idea by a group acting on behalf of the opposition party by December 31st,” Mutharika said.

Mutharika made the remarks in Blantyre during the ground breaking ceremony of Sogecoa Park, where Chinese investors are constructing a five-star hotel, conference centre, restaurants and shops.

The hotel in Blantyre, which is part of the Direct Foreign Investment Programme, is being constructed between Civic Centre offices and Keza Office Park. It will have more than 200 rooms.

Mutharika also outlined some projects that his government plans to undertake in 2018 in Blantyre including a 20-storey office complex, extension of the Chileka International Airport, a hospital and some roads.

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