Malawi parliament finally passed the controversial Tripartite Bill unanimously, a vote that attracted praise from the British government that lauded Malawi for taking positive steps to ensure that democracy, constitutional governance and the rule of law thrive in the country.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill, popularly known as Tripartite Bill, will allow the country to hold three elections: parliamentary, presidential and local government at once in 2014.
â€œHopefully, the controversy is now over and hard work begins for the preparations of the elections. This government has taken positive steps on the economy and now on political governance. This symbolises a positive direction,â€ said British High Commissioner Michael Nevin immediately after witnessing the passing of the bill.
Nevin said Britain is ready to support the three elections, but called on the Electoral Commission to speed up drafting the budget for the exercise.
â€œThat [ budget] has to come out very quickly, the clock is ticking, we all need well-run elections and we need to prepare adequately,â€ he said.
The bill, which required a two-thirds majority, was passed with all the 148 members present voting for it with 44 absentee votes after a rigorous debate which started last Friday.
Former president Bakili Muluzi and the late president Bingu wa Mutharika failed to push this bill through in what many believed was a deliberate ploy to wade off the elections.