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Presidential age limit motion today

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BY JAMESON CHAULUKA

Nsanje South West Member of Parliament Joseph Chidanti Malunga will today move a private members motion for a Constitutional Amendment to put a limit on the age of presidential candidates.

Malunga, who is also spokesperson of the Chilima Movement told The Daily Times Wednesday that all necessary processes for the motion to be tabled have been finalised.

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“Last Thursday, I failed to move the motion because it was yet to be reviewed by the Business Committee of Parliament. As I am speaking, the committee has already reviewed the motion and it will be on the Order Paper tomorrow [today],” he said.

While 60 is the mandatory retirement age for civil servants in the country, Section 80(6) of the country’s Constitution only provides for a minimum age of 35 for presidents.

Chidanti Malunga wants to change the status quo by proposing 65 as the maximum age limit for presidents.

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Malunga told The Daily Times in an earlier interview that he came up with the motion after noting that the country’s laws only provide for a minimum age limit, saying there should also be a maximum limit.

Malunga said it is common knowledge that naturally people get weaker as they age arguing being president needs someone energetic.

The proposed motion has attracted mixed reactions from politicians and political analysts nationwide.

The University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political analyst Mustafa Hussein told The Daily Times in an earlier interview that although the law will ensure that only those who are strong become presidents as presidency is an involving position, being young does not automatically translate into good leadership.

“The law will help to see to it that only those who are strong become presidents but there have been old leaders who were good and there have been young leaders whose leadership was not all that good. We should refrain from making laws with someone in mind,” he said.

Dedza East legislator Juliana Lunguzi announced plans to move a similar motion in April but did not do so.

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