Malawi President signs Referendum & political parties bills

President of Malawi professor Peter Mutharika has signed into law the Referendum bill which was passed by lawmakers last year.

However, vital sections that gave power to the masses to petition a sitting head of state to call for a referendum as proposed by the Special Law Commission are missing.

Spokesperson for Parliament Leonard Mengezi said the Referendum and Political Parties Bill were gazzetted on February, 2 2017.

“The Referendum bill which initially proposed 500, 000 signatures to petition a president to call for a referendum was the first electoral amendment bill that parliament passed as the government negotiated to stop planned mass protests against the government’s reluctance to table the electoral reforms (Ammendment) bills,” Mengezi said.

Commenting one of the political experts in the country says the political party’s bill which the president has assented to will bring sanity on the conduct of political parties.

Dr Mustapher Hussein a chancellor college lecturer in an interview with radio Islam said although it will take time for people to fully understand the law, the president should be commended for assenting to the bill.

“Government should put in place proper mechanism to ensure that the law is in force,” said Dr Hussein.

Malawi Law Society President Mwiza Nkhata described the alterations to the Referendum Act as unfortunate.

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