Malawi parliament building 

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- The opposition political parties represented in Malawi Parliament, are on the verge of forming a parallel cabinet for various government agencies and ministries works’ as a checks and balance measure.

This is one of proposals or the Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee. It is intending to debate the proposal in the ongoing budget session.

Once adopted, the proposal is to adopted by the whole house, the Leader of the opposition in Parliament, will have the mandate to appoint a parallel cabinet, comprising members from all opposition parties in the National Assembly.

Currently, the main opposition parties have their own shadow cabinet ministers, who respond and present issues affecting their line of expertise.

The Legal Affairs Committee Chairperson Maxwell Thyolera, told The Nation  newspaper that the role of the opposition parallel cabinet was for check and balances in the line government ministries.

Thyolera said the new arrangement was also aimed at improving effectiveness of the system between the Parliament and Executive arms of government.

“As leader of opposition, instead of appointing a shadow cabinet from the party he or she is coming from, must also consider the other parties that are in opposition and represented in parliament.

Currently, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), and People’s Party (PP) have their own shadow cabinets, which is something that is not regulated anywhere.

“The new parallel cabinet’s key role will be the checks and balances of the line ministries. We made comparative studies. It is happening in other jurisdictions and its working quite well”, assures Thyolera.

The committee is also expected to table other key recommendations, including mandatory appearance of the President, to respond to questions, which conforms with the Republic Constitution. It also trims the number of parliamentary committees from current 22 to about 13.


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