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Malawi’ religious body wants 50+1 electoral system debate back

Malawi 2019 elections results lacked credibility-PAC

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s quasi-religious body, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) says only the 50+1 electoral system is a solution to the current political impasse.

PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole says the 50+1 electoral system is critical for the country’s fragile democracy and other electoral reforms.

Presidential race results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections have revived debate on the country’s electoral system.

“The first-past-the-post will continue to divide Malawians. I hope this time around, our political stakeholders will understand the importance of the 50+1 and adopt it,” he said.

Political analyst Mustafa Hussein conquered with Mulomole, saying this is the only electoral system which can end the current post election squabbles in the wake of the results that saw President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) retaining the presidency with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent trailed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes (35.41 percent) and the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima who led UTM Party ticket with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent,

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shot down the bill under the electoral reforms when the opposition MCP proposed a 50-plus-one vote in the presidential race.

Political, administrative and governance experts state that the results of the presidential race, which show that six in every 10 voters rejected the declared winner, were fruits of selfishness and greed by politicians who rejected proposed electoral reforms in 2017.

They argue that the statistics tell how the first-past-the-post system or winner-takes-all imposes on people leadership rejected by a majority.

In its preliminary report, the Sadc Election Observation Mission (Seom) on the May 21 Tripartite Elections recommended that Malawi’s electoral laws still need to be reformed.

The mission’s suggested areas of reform include appointment of MEC commissioners, period for voter registration and the role of the State broadcaster.

On the composition of MEC, the mission said while the commissioners are appointed by the President in consultation with leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament, “there is, however, need for the appointment process to be improved to enhance inclusivity, transparency and good governance”.

Currently Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM are challenging Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)’s May 21 polls presidential results over numerous irregularities.

The parties are demanding for a re-run.

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