50+1 will be a test of popularity


A local political analyst has expressed hope that the adopted 50 plus 1 percent system of electing a president will test popularity of Malawi political parties as it will break politics of regionalism in the country.

The Special Law Commission on the Review of Electoral Laws last month adopted the run-off electoral system to replace the winner-takes-all electoral system.

Commenting on the development, a local political scientist Wonderful Mkhutche, has applauded the plans arguing they will help to bring to an end concerns of people in the country.

Wonderful Mkhutche
Wonderful Mkhutche: The system will test the waters.

“The 50+1 electoral system works irrespective of the number of parties. With more than fifty registered parties, and the major ones finding most of their votes based on regions, the 50+1 system will be a good test of popularity. It will also transcend regional based politics,” said Mkhutche.

He further called for need to change the politics in Malawi with such plans.

However some quarters have cast doubt on implementation of the system as they argued that the country has too many political parties.

Electoral stakeholders have been pressing authorities to adopt 50+1 electoral system arguing that the country has too many political parties.

Since 1994, only two presidential candidates have won presidential elections with a 50+1 majority – Bakili Muluzi in 1999 and Bingu wa Mutharika in 2009.  The current president, Bingu’s younger brother Peter, secured the presidency in 2014 with 36 percent of the votes cast.