UDF supports electoral reforms bills

The United Democratic Front (UDF) says its Members of Parliament have been voting in favour of electoral reforms bills in line with the judgment of the Constitutional Court and in line with the aspirations of Malawians.

The party’s spokesperson Ken Ndanga made the remarks in a statement on Friday.

He noted that the UDF National Executive Committee (NEC) met on 16th February 2020 where among other decisions the party resolved to respect the Constitutional Court ruling on the 2019 presidential elections case.

The court its ruling told Parliament to make amendments enabling the use of 50 percent plus one vote electoral system.

According to Ndanga, the UDF Members of Parliament are not only duty bound by the resolutions of National Executive regarding the bills but also the values and principles which the party stands for.

“Any political party, individual or organizations outside the UDF do not influence UDF Members of Parliament when dealing with such bills and reiterates its position as catalysts for change in electoral reforms and systems,” he said.

The UDF party spokesperson added that the party’s position on the 50+1 dates back to the days of the constitutional conference before the 1994 elections where the UDF favored a proportional representative system and a fully fledged parliamentary democracy.

“This was to ensure that the marginalized are taken on board such that they too are part and parcel of the decision-making processes,” he said.

On Thursday, Members of Parliament rejected a bill that sought to amend the Malawi Constitution in order to include a provision for holding of run-off elections has failed to get Parliament’s approval.

The Constitution Amendment Bill required 128 votes (two thirds majority) to pass but 109 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted yes while 71 rejected it.

The bill that was tabled was intended to Section 80A in the Constitution to provide for a run-off election in the event that a majority is not obtained by any presidential candidate.