As unrest over the much talked about 50+1 electoral bill, cabinet has made a key alteration to the initial proposition that it affects the presidency post alone.
The alteration is now that the bill will also concern voting of lawmakers and ward councilors.
In April this year, a Special Law Commission had advised that Malawi needs to adopt a 50+1 vote law that will see the country receding from the winner-takes-it-all scenario of electing the president.
The debate has skyrocketed lately as the 2019 polls near. The failure by government to take the bill and other electoral laws has since resulted into organizations planning a demonstration this week.
However, the local media has been awash with reports that cabinet was in talks meant to see to it that the bill gets to parliament.
A circulating image document shows that the cabinet sitting wants the bill’s traits applicable to Members of Parliament and Ward Councillors.
It is reported that the bill is slated to be taken to parliament tomorrow- a day before the demos.
Analysts however say that the cabinet resolved to land this agreement so that lawmakers in parliament should not approve the bill.
The Peter Mutharika led government is being accused of shying away from the bill.
With the new system, the winning president will have to amass at least 50+1 percent of the national vote.
In the previous elections, Malawi had been using the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) or winner-takes-all system to elect presidents, Members of Parliament (MPs) and ward councillors.
In the run-off system, if no candidate reaches the required rate during the first poll, a run-off will have to be held in which two presidential candidates who obtained the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast should be the only candidates.
For this to be adopted, Parliament needs to amend Section 80 (2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (PPE) Act to provide change of the electoral system to the 50+1 threshold.