Opposition Members of Parliament have today rejected Constitutional Amendment Bill which seeks to amend Section 80 of the Constitution to set June 23, 2020 as date for fresh presidential elections.
The bill was rejected after it failed to amass the required two third majority.
In the House, 174 were present while 14 were absent. Out of the 174 members of parliament, 92 MPs from the government side voted yes while 82 MP’s from opposition side voted for no.
The opposition members rejected the bill insisting that they already set a date yesterday which is 23rd June, 2020 when Malawians will vote for the next President.
After the bill was rejected, Members of Parliament from the Government side were singing songs saying the opposition has rejected the fresh polls.
Commenting on the issue, MP for Dowa East Richard Chimwendo Banda said they have rejected the bill because they already set a date yesterday and there is no need to debate on that.
“As you already know yesterday Parliament set 23 June as the day to elect new president and the Minister of Justice today brought up the Amendment Bill section (80) so that Parliament should discuss on the matter and pass the bill, so to us as the opposition side we have rejected it.
“I can assure Malawians that we are voting on 23 June and the Speaker will present what parliament discussed yesterday which is the election date to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC),” he said.
Banda added the other issue is that the government side wants the 50 percent plus one vote system debated.
“This is wrong because the Supreme Court already interpreted on 50+1 that it is a law and there is no need to debate on it,” said Chimwendo.
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Bright Msaka says the opposition side has rejected the bill and at the same has also rejected fresh presidential polls.
He also claimed that Parliament has no choice but to pass the bill saying the private members motion that was passed in the House on Tuesday is invalid.