Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya has emphasised the readiness of Parliament to table Electoral Reforms Bills which Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has pledged to table in Parliament in November.
Speaking after meeting the delegation of European Union Election Observers who were in the country to follow up on the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections recommendations, Msowoya said it was Parliament’s expectation that Cabinet was scrutinising the proposed laws ready for tabling when the House resumes meeting.
Malawi Law Commission submitted a report on the review of the electoral laws to the government in April this year containing six proposed bills among them: Constitution (Amendment), Electoral Commission (Amendment), Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections, Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) and Referendum.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has since committed to bringing the bills to Parliament during the November meeting.
Msowoya said the mission following up on recommendations wanted to know the state of preparedness of the National Assembly to handle the bills when they are presented.
He said: “I assured them that Parliament is very ready to tackle these bills as long as the government satisfies the 28 day rule of notice on bills. But I also informed them that there are occasions when the government can obtain a waiver to have bills brought to the House earlier and they have received support on this in the past.”
Msowoya said the assurance from the government that the bills were at Cabinet level was a positive development which the legislature welcomed.
The EU Election Observer Mission has since stressed that election bills supporting the reforms review that have happened was the solution to fair and credible elections in the country.