LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s powerful religious grouping, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) on Friday felt betrayed by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after it shot down some of electoral reforms bills that were table in Parliament since Wednesday this week.
The three Bills which government shot down are the Assumption of Office President (Transitional Arrangement) Bill, Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections Bill and the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill.
They were all shot down on Thursday and on Friday before the Second Reading.
PAC therefore regrets on what has happened described it as government’s conspiracy to frustrate its own Bills on electoral reforms and hinted that it will reignite mass demonstrations that were earlier called off.
The religious body’s Executive Director Robert Phiri said that having seen the outcome of the deliberations in the House, the board will soon meet and direct the secretariat on when exactly the demonstrations can be held.
Phiri further indicated that there were wide consultations on the Bills, using the civil society task force and that the shooting down of the Bills is regrettable and retrogressive to the advancement of democracy for the country.
“As a secretariat everything is ready. We have a minimum of 120 placards and reflectors for all the marchers countrywide. We have the banners, which are ready with the messages. So for us, it’s just a matter of the board’s resolution,” assures Phiri.
But leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa argued that MPs were only expressing their democratic right and voted according to their conscience and understanding of the Bills.
However, opposition political parties led by leader of opposition in the House, Lazarus Chakwera, grilled government front benches for taking Malawians for a ride and wasting hard earned taxpayers’ money by preparing the Bills only to turn around and shoot them down themselves.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president described as “political circus” the conduct of the ruling DPP MPs who were also supported by some legislators of the former ruling People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) and some independent lawmakers.
On Tuesday, this week PAC postponed the much awaited December 13, 2017 protest on condition that government will table and pass into laws on electoral reforms bills.