Mtambo - Reform laws

Mtambo – Reform laws

LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow)- Human rights activist  Mr Timothy Mtambo has asked the opposition to take advantage of its numbers in parliament to abolish the first past post electoral law and immediately replace it with a law that would ascend a person to the presidency after getting more than 50 per cent of the votes cast.

In an interview recently, Mtambo, the executive director of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation said there was no political will on the part of government to push for electoral reforms ahead of the 2019 general election.

“The opposition is now changing colours on 50+1. Why can’t they make the reforms,” said Mtambo.

President Peter Mutharika got 37 per cent of the vote.

Public Affairs Committee, a quasi religious body asked the Malawi Electoral Commission to make the amendments.

However Mutharika said recently the issue would be put to Malawians first for them to decide.

He did not say whether it will be through a referendum or parliament.

Critics say the present system allows a president to be elected by one tribe or region fearing this might fuel tribalism and regionalism in the country.

Mutharika amassed most of his votes from the south where he comes from especially from his home district of Thyolo and neighbouring Mulanje and Chiradzulu.

He defended his decision to hire more than three quarters of his 20 member cabinet from the south, arguing that is where his party has most of its parliamentary seats.