By Staff Reporter 13/12/17
Whether one likes it or not the 2019 Presidential candidate will have to garner 50% +1 of the vote to get to State House. This is what the current President is fearing and trying to fight at all costs.
By winning with only 36 percent of the vote in 2014 he is probably the least favorable President Malawi has ever had since 1964. Make no mistake, his brother scored around 60 percent in 2009 despite a dismal performance as UDF candidate five years earlier. Truth is, Peter Mutharika cannot score more than he did in 2014 due to his incompetence and corrupt leadership.
When the 50+1 debate started years ago many had in mind references from other African countries where the same provision is currently been applied, and that has become a yardstick of how we intend to do things here in Malawi. Malawi Law Commission visited Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda among other countries to learn how the system works.
In all these democracies it is only the President to whom the law applies. Other elected officials such as Members of Parliament and local government officials are elected using First Past The Post. There are reasons why this is the case and we believe the same applies to Malawi. The only problem we have is that we have an arrogant government who feel they can change things at will as they try tooth and nail to keep Mutharika in power beyond 2019.
The rationale behind 50+1 is to do with having national leadership that has a credible mandate to govern. A leadership that will appoint people on merit not just tribesmen and women, a leadership that will not narrow their minds to only one region of the country. There is no any other reason for 50+1 than this and Mutharika knows this too well.
For for the DPP to demand 50+1 for MPs and councilors shows the mistrust they have to their own Malawi Law Commission and the arrogance they have towards Malawians who hold the power to vote anyone in and out.
The Office of the President is far much more important and unique than any elected official. This is why it is only the President who is limited to two-term limits unlike MPs and councilors who go and and on.
Those who framed our constitution in 1992, and that includes Peter Mutharika himself, were not stupid to only focus term limits on the President and not the other two tiers of elected officials.
50+1 must be used in Malawi starting from 2019 and it should only be used to elected a Head of State. Anything less or more than this is tantamount to robbing Malawians what they need most, good governance.
Mutharika knows that he cannot stand a chance even to make it to second round going by how incompetently he has been governing this country. Malawians want change and they will get it whether with single round of voting or otherwise.