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Malawi’s voting system hinders 50-50 campaign – Msowoya

By Bright Malenga

April 19, 2018

Malawi’s system of voting for president, parliamentarians and councillors is one of the factors affecting 50-50 campaign in the country, according to Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya.

Msowoya made the remarks during a public lecture at Catholic University (CU).

Msowoya says the electoral system Malawi uses is based on survival.

The 50-50 campaign advocates for at least 50 percent representation of women in Parliament and councils.

Msowoya said the electoral system Malawi uses is based on survival of the fittest hence it is difficult for women to compete with men.

“The reason why 50-50 is impossible in Malawi is because of the political system. In first past the post it is dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. South Africa and Namibia are better. They have 50+1,” Msowoya said.

On a suggestion by Jessie Kabwila that legislators should be using Chichewa in Parliament, Msowoya said the country should continue using English.

He noted that Malawians speak Chichewa in various accents and it could be difficult for parliamentarians to understand each other.

“My Chichewa is from Nyungwe, different from Chichewa in another part of Malawi. We would misunderstand each other. Even in South Africa most debate is in English,” he said.

Msowoya’s remarks on electoral system comes as Malawi Congress Party is advocating for the adoption of the 50+1 system of electing the president.

The bill for the reforms was blocked last year in Parliament by ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislators.