The Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn) has called on President Joyce Banda to extend the Midterm Budget Review Sitting of Parliament to empower the House have thorough debate on a bill which seeks to harmonise all electoral laws.
Among the bills proposed for harmonisation of electoral laws include: The Constitutional Amendment Bill, The Electoral Commission Act Amendment Bill and the PPE and LGE Acts Amendment Bill.
Mesn acting chairperson Undule Mwakasungula said this on Sunday during a press briefing held in Blantyre.
“We have noted with concern delays by government in presenting the bills for proposed harmonised electoral laws in Parliament that will allow for the smooth holding of 2014 Tripartite Elections,” he said.
Mwakasungula added that going by the slow pace in tackling bills in the current sitting and considering the squabbles going on in the august House coupled with the fact that Parliament may rise next week the bill may not be given priority.
“We, therefore, call upon the President to intervene and ensure that passing of the harmonised electoral laws is given priority in the current sitting of Parliament to allow MEC and all stakeholders continue preparations for 2014 Tripartite Elections,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, Mesn spokesperson Steven Duwa said if the bills remain the same 2014 Tripartite Elections will be problematic.
“We are putting pressure on MEC to run an election without challenges. The delay gives room for electoral flaws that render the elections not to be free and fair,” he said.