Malawi: HRDC Shifts Parliament Vigil, Protest March to Tuesday

24 February 2020

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has cancelled a vigil and protest march on Monday to force legislators pass the Constitutional Court ordered electoral reform bills.

HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the protest march and the vigil will instead be done on Tuesday to allow the members of parliament debate and probably pass the bills.

He expressed concern with the behaviour displayed by some Members of Parliament in the just ended week.

Mtambo says it is sad that some MPs are behaving like ' babies' in the August House.

The coalition leader says all MPs who are against reforms will be under pressure, saying the HRDC team is working on legal redress.

Democratic Progressive Party legislators have been frustrating the passing of the the electoral reform bills to the annoyance of most Malawians.

Debate and voting on the proposed constitutional amendment bill to allow for timeframe for a fresh presidential election and provide provisions for a runoff has been shifted to Monday after it was shot down on Thursday.

The Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament says failing to pass the amendment bill - to give effect to the 50+1 system of electing a president -will create a constitutional crisis in the country as this was the last call towards the holding of the court-ordered fresh election.

While the opposition says the bill has to be passed as a matter of urgency in light of the 21-day ultimatum issued by the Constitutional Court, the government side says MPs need time to consult their constituents.

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