As the days creep closer to 2019, it is becoming more clear that President Peter Mutharika will not match his brother Bingu’s feat of 66 percent majority votes in his second term.
Suffice to say that he is already making the same mistakes that his brother made in alienating a vice-president he was elected with when he obtained the 36 percent support of the country.
We all know how that ended: People’s Party was born then the cruel hand of nature intervened.
What the Special Law Commission on Electoral Reforms proposed to make elections in Malawi more credible was certainly not revolutionary because the rest of the world has already gone that way.
But this being Malawi, when the world goes forward, we think moving backwards is the thing.
It therefore follows that this adminstration has no intention of letting any of the Law Commission proposals see the light of day.
The proposals threaten the very existence and foundation of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Where would DPP be if the High Court had not obeyed Section 81 (3) of the Constitution that swearing in of president and vice-president should be done within 30 days?
Where would the DPP be had it not been for ancient tabulation of results which allowed for trained teachers to cross out numbers and input new ones?
Where would DPP be if it wasn’t for the First-past-the-post system enabling them to rule this country when only 36 percent of voters wanted them?
The unwillingness, or as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu puts it, ‘most likely in November’ is really telling.
It is highly unlikely that a Bill of this nature passed in the November sitting could be implemented in the 2019 Tripartite Elections, certainly not the 50-plus-one majority proposal.
The only Bills passed that the President appends his signature to quickly like his life is at stake are those that threaten the well-being of the nation or will sweetly line the pockets of as few individuals.
With the majority of the Bills which the Law Commission proposed, the political ambitions of the DPP for Peter Mutharika to rule this country until 2024 are stake.
In retrospect, we know those are interests of a large number of APM’s cronies, whether they be businesspersons or politicians alike.
No adminstration wants to get out of government and certainly not the DPP if the propaganda being churned out by the State-funded broadcaster is anything to go by.
The fight is on and the DPP is winning so far. They have not made any promises that the people’s wishes will be granted. The ‘November’ is just another gimmick of this party to promise what they have no intention of fulfilling.
The passing of the Access to Information (ATI) Bill is one example as the government had no intention of enacting that law and it had to take the might and determination of the opposition to push it through.
The failed attempt by the opposition to table and pass the Private Members Bill on amending the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act is an example.
Simple amendments in the Act to ensure mathematical errors that were prevalent and resulted in a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate in Lilongwe City South East be declared winner, never happen again have been rejected.
How does the opposition expect the government to table legislative amendments that will risk the future of the administration?
The one option right now is to strategise and push for these amendments through Private Members Bills and motions. Failing that, prepare for another chaotic tripartite elections in which the judiciary will decide the fate of 17 million Malawians. n