Following the missing of proposed Electoral Reforms bills on the initial list of six bills to be tabled in Parliament, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is convening an emergency meeting for its next direction.
But a University of Malawi’s (Unima) political scientist has observed that it is clear that there is no commitment to table the bills and the citizenry now holds the key to the reforms’ success.
PAC said the absence of the Electoral Reforms bills on the initial list of bills to be tabled in Parliament demonstrates that the reforms are not a priority to government and “speaks volumes” on its commitment.
In The Nation yesterday, Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa said government had not presented the Electoral Reforms bills to the Business Committee which met last Friday because Cabinet was yet to approve them.
In an interview yesterday, PAC executive director Robert Phiri said management of the quasi-religious institution was convening a governance meeting for guidance.
He said the governance meeting would include the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM).
But in a statement on electoral reforms issued last week after its board of governors meeting, PAC expressed “deep-felt shock” with reports that members of Parliament (MP) may not consider removing their voting powers at Council level.
But Unima’s Chancellor College political scientist Ernest Thindwa said it was not surprising that there was little or no interest to have the bills tabled.
For some months, PAC has been meeting various key stakeholders, including government, lobbying them to have the reforms tabled when Parliament starts meeting from this Friday. n