The battle for Leader of Opposition in Parliament is not yet over as the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), wants Malawi Congress Party (MCP) veteran leader, John Tembo out as leader of opposition.
DPP was relegated to opposition benches following the death of its founder, late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
Though the initial battle was fought and lost in Parliament, DPP has not given up the fight for the position and has now chosen a new war-zone, which is the courtroom.
If the party wins the case and Tembo is ousted, its interim leader Peter Mutharika is likely going to take over the position.
Leader of the party in the House George Chaponda has confirmed to The Daily Times that the DPP has since commenced legal proceedings as a strategy of grabbing the position from Tembo.
Chaponda said in an interview that the DPP’s main argument in the courtroom would be that it deserves the position because it has the opposition majority in the House.
“We cannot give up on the matter because the DPP is the opposition party that has majority in Parliament, therefore we have just decided to take the matter to court,” he said.
According to Chaponda, parliamentary procedures stipulate that leader of the largest opposition political party in Parliament shall produce the leader of opposition.
The DPP leader in Parliament said the party decided to commence legal proceedings because the Speaker of Parliament rejected their petition to have a leader of opposition from the DPP.
Earlier, the DPP gave the speaker up to June 25 to make a declaration that the opposition leader should come from the DPP.
Chaponda did not say as to whether or not they decided to go to court due to Speaker’s failure to make the declaration.
The standing orders say: “Leader of Opposition means the Parliamentary leader of the largest party, elected by the parliamentary membership, which is not in government or coalition with a government party, and who is recognised by the speaker as such.”
However, the current Standing Orders except for the definition only, do not say the procedures on how the leaders of opposition should be elected.
The fight for leader of opposition between the DPP and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo started after President Joyce Banda ascended to power in April.