Phoya backs Speaker on Sec 65 saga

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The leadership of the ruling Peoples Party (PP) in parliament has backed Speaker of the national assembly for not rushing to invoke section 65 on legislators who crossed the floor.

Leader of the house Henry Phoya said there was no way Henry Chimunthu Banda would have acted without considering rules of natural justice.

The Speaker earlier demanded evidence from the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders, who petitioned him to declare vacant seats of 39 legislators for defecting to the PP.

But Chimunthu Banda failed to act on the legislators again after the evidence was presented to him, following a court injunction obtained by Ntcheu West MP Chikumbutso Hiwa.

Phoya said the speaker also needed practical evidence as per the legal requirement.

Said Phoya: “I think the speaker is receiving undue criticism in the manner that he handled the issue. People are not correctly interpreting the decision that the speaker took on section 65.

“All the speaker was doing was to make sure that the concerned members at the time they are responding to the petitions unveiled of all the evidential allegations that were being made by the DDP so that when they were responding they go straight to those matters of evidence.

“This is simply in line with the rule of natural justice.“

Meanwhile, the Speaker is expected to make a ruling during the next sitting of Parliament as the recent adjourned sine die on Friday last week.

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