19 April 2018

Malawi: MP Lunguzi to Move House On Malawi Presidential Age Limit

Photo: Cia Pak/UN Photo
Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi. (file photo)

Outspoken Dedza east MP Juliana Lunguzi says she will move a motion in the 193-strong House when it meets in May so that legislators should debate changing the Republican constitution to add age limit for presidents.

"This issue is trending now. This is the issue Malawians want us, as their representatives in parliament, to discuss. As the representatives of the people, we need to listen to them and do what they want," said Lunguzi.

The presidential age limit issue has been ignited by former First Lady Callista Mutharika who described his brother in-law president Peter Mutharika as aged and alleged people surround him dubbed 'beast of prey' - makedecisions of the State for him.

Callista suggested the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should instead field vice president Saulos Chilima, 45 in the 2019 polls as its presidential candidate instead of the 79-year-old president.

Lunguzi said there is need for members of parliament to discuss and debate the issue thoroughly owing to the interest the issue has generated from all sections of Malawians.

"I am looking at two things, the Constitution says when one can be president. Listening to the finance minister [Goodall Gondwe] and the retirement age of civil servants, there is need for a healthy debate on the matter," said the youthful parliamentarian.

Lunguzi said she will move the House so that the Constitution should be changed to limit the age of those entering into the office of the president.

She said it was up to the House to reject her proposal or take it, saying if the parliamentarians reject it, the issue can be pursued elsewhere.

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