Outspoken Umodzi Party (UP) President Professor John Chisi has hailed ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Members of Parliament and other MPs especially from opposition People’s Party (PP) for rejecting electoral reforms bills in the National Assembly.

Last week Cabinet through Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu tabled in Parliament five bills relating to the electoral system including the 50+1 system of electing the President of the country following pressure from the religious body Public Affairs Committee (PAC).

PAC threatened to hold national wide demonstrations on December 13 if bills are not brought in the National Assembly for discussions.

Surprisingly DPP, UDF and PP MPs ganged up and rejected the bills raising speculations that the bills were not tabled in the house in good faith.
When contacted for comment Chisi said he is not surprised that the 50+1 and other bills on electoral reforms have been rejected because the ruling DPP did not want the bills to be tabled.

“All MPs are under the Chief whip and the whip is basically the one who tells the MPs the vision of that Party and the bills that will be presented.
“So you will see here that if people could have gone to the street it could just have been a worst of time and effort because at the end of it it’s the bill which I together with other people and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are not in agreement with,” said Chisi.

Chisi added that he could have been very sad if the said bills could have been passed by Parliament.

“Malawians are not ready for bills which will bring controversy in terms of our emotions. Just remember what happened at Gonapamuhanya celebrations and what happened in Thyolo during the 2014 elections.

“Malawians are not ready to accept defeat, they are not ready to congratulate the winner and they are not ready to look beyond their power games and also look beyond benefits from what they are doing. This is the time for us as a nation to start building a country where we will start appreciating the complexity of running our country interms of our own vision and focus,” said Chisi.

He added: “Bills of this nature can divide as more than unite us and I say bravo to DPP and other MPs who have taken hold of this. Thus democracy, People should now understand that democracy can in tell putting things to parliament but still losing.”

Meanwhile PAC officials are set to meet on the move by government to reject the bills.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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