The Joyce Banda government has backed calls by the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament that the tripartite elections in Malawi be held in 2019 and not in 2014.

In a report presented in parliament a few days ago, the committee argued that the country is not ready to hold such elections in 2014 citing time constraints to carry out practical preparatory activities.

Malawi has since 2005 operated without local councilors, a situation which has greatly affected development initiatives as legislators find it difficult to single handedly spearhead various development projects.

Leader of the house in parliament Henry Phoya said it would be reckless for the country to hold presidential, parliamentary and local polls without adequate preparations.

Phoya said the government does not have enough time to prepare for the tripartite elections.

“We should accept the fact that in the past the issue of local government elections has not been quite respected. But I can assure you that this government would like have councilors in place, so at some point and following the recommendations of the legal affairs committee we should have local government elections in the country in the near future“

However the opposition Malawi Congress Party spokesperson Jolly Kalero said the PP government would do injustice to Malawians by refusing to hold tripartite elections in 2014.

“We should hold the tripartite elections in 2014 parliament must pass the legislature towards this issue because it’s long overdue. Otherwise if we postpone again people will feel betrayed “

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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