Member of Parliament for Blantyre South Noel Lipipa has faulted fellow Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators for breaching rules in the election of Kondwani Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition (LOP).
Lipipa said he did not participate in the elections of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament because the election breached Parliament’s standing orders.
“I cannot and will not be party to such miscarriage,” he said.
The Parliamentary Standing Order 35 (1) says “the leader of opposition shall be elected by the party not in government having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament at any point in time and officially announced as such by the speaker.”
While Parliamentary Standing Order 36 reads “the leader of opposition may only be removed by the party that elected him or her.”
According to Lipipa, Members of Parliament are not the ‘party’ mentioned in the standings orders.
“The ‘Party’ is not the 47 MPs who purportedly participated in a Comedy of Errors. The Party is structured and Prof. Peter Mutharika remains the president of our party, therefore, the authority to appoint Hon Kasaila is in order,” he said.
He added that he may consider writing the Attorney General for an opinion.
According to reports, there is also debate in DPP over the manner of choosing Leader of Opposition.
Earlier this week, the DPP National Government Council led by party leader Mutharika chose Nsanje Central MP Francis Kasaila as Leader of Opposition.
However, DPP MPs on Wednesday rejected Kasaila and claimed that the Leader of Opposition is chosen through elections.
The MPs today held elections where Nankhumwa amassed 38 votes, Kasaila managed 4 votes while Machinga Likwenu MP Bright Msaka got 1 vote.
Msaka and Kasaila were not present during the polls which were presided over by DPP Secretary General Grezelder Jeffrey.