Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has urged the government to hasten the amendment process on electoral law to avoid the repeat of the May 20, 2014 tripartite election which was marred various irregularities.
Chakwera said this on Monday in Parliament when he was reacting to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s speech during the official opening of the 46th session of Parliament last Friday.
In his speech, Chakwera said the currently electoral law of first-past-the post needs to be amended to the proposed 50+1 electoral system so that the elected President should have support from all corners.
“Everyone is aware that the controversial 2014 tripartite elections nearly brought this peaceful nation to the brink of anarchy. But because the respective leadership of the MCP, PP and UDF is not power hungry, they restrained their supporters from resorting to violence and leaving this country in smoke.
“What we need in this regard, Mr Speaker Sir, is a legislative seal in the constitutional loopholes which seriously undermine the integrity of our elections, but to the dismay of Malawians, these seem to be nowhere near this government’s priorities,” said Chakwera.
Turning to the time for the release of the election results, Chakwera proposed for the extension of the constitutional time limit placed on the MEC to announce results of the Presidential election especially where there are evident irregularities and sticky issues bordering on electoral fraud.
“Is it not about time we adopted a system that requires MEC officials at constituency polling centers to announce the results of their constituency to the whole nation live from the same centers where they are counted and signed for by all parties in the presence of observers to do away with the errors and manipulations that creep into the tally sheets as they travel long distances to reach the national tally center?
“Mr Speaker Sir, let me be clear. If the President does not bring to the next session of Parliament a bill that introduces these reforms to our electoral system, we will do it ourselves through a private members’ bill,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera said if the election were held today the DPP government will be voted out of office.