President Joyce Banda has told the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) that most of the commitments they are seeking from her as presidential candidate would not be possible without changing laws which require full support of Parliament.
Speaking after the President met with members of the PAC executive committee led by its chairperson the Reverend Felix Chingota, People’s Party (PP) acting secretary general Paul Maulidi said the committee presented pertinent issues before the President, most of which could only be implemented by Parliament because they touched on change in laws.
The 19 points for discussion, including time frames which PAC has presented to four presidential candidates so far, include implementation of Section 65 which regulates crossing of the floor among members of Parliament (MPs), independence of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, separation of powers and a fresh review of the Constitution which stalled in 2007.
PAC has also asked presidential candidates to limit the size of their Cabinet to 16 once they are voted into office come May 20 2014.
However, Maulidi told the media after the meeting that the President could not commit to such action due to the complexity of the issues which the ministries currently in place deal with, necessitating some ministries to have two deputy ministers.
On Section 65, Maulidi said the President felt crossing the floor was a complex issue which several sectors needed to deal with, not only the executive.
But Maulidi said the issues were discussed in good faith and the President had indicated she would take action on issues which did not require Parliament intervention.
Chingota said the meeting with the President was fruitful although the committee was yet to come up with a full assessment of the presidential candidates they have met so far.
PAC remains to meet with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika tentatively scheduled for February 17.