President Peter Mutharika has withheld assenting to the electoral bills parliament passed in February.

LILONGWE, MaraviPost: Malawi President Peter Mutharika has withheld assenting to the electoral bill’s parliament passed in February. This further throws the country into constitutional crisis as we predicted when Parliament rushed into passing these laws.

This decision also shows the flows in the ConCourt rambling ruling that was not well thought of and will further drive divisions in the country. It is now very doubtful that the rerun of Elections will happen in May of this year.

Steps Necessary for Bill to become law

73.— (1) Where a Bill is presented to the President for assent, the President shall either assent or withhold assent and shall do so within twenty-one days from the date the Bill is presented to him or her.

(2) Where the President withholds assent to a Bill, the Bill shall be returned to the Speaker of the National Assembly by the President with a notification that the President’s assent has been withheld, including reasons therefor, and the Bill shall not be again debated by the National Assembly until after the expiry of twenty-one days from the date of the notification of that withholding.

Mutharika keeps opposition and ConCourt guessing on assent to the electoral reform bills

(3) If the Bill is debated again and passed by a majority of the National Assembly at any time between the date of the expiry of the twenty-one days referred to in subsection (2) and three months from that date, the Bill shall again be presented for assent by the President.

(4) Where a Bill is again presented to the President for assent in accordance with subsection (3), the President shall assent to the Bill within twenty-one days of its presentation.

Bills passed in Parliament cause more confusion as they need Presidential signature to become law

(5) When a Bill that has been duly passed is assented to in accordance with this Constitution, the Clerk shall cause it to be published immediately in the Gazette.

74. No law made by Parliament shall come into force until it has been published in the Gazette, but Parliament may prescribe that a law shall not come into force until some later date after its publication in the Gazette.

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