The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it is unmoved by the opposition’s large representation in the august House, challenging that it has devised a strategy on how to transact business.
The party’s spokesperson on parliamentary issues George Chaponda said the opposition’s majority in the House is no cause for concern.
DPP has 49 MPs against Malawi Congress Party’s 48, People’s Party’s 26, United Democratic Front’s 14 while Aford and Chipani Chapfuko have a seat each.
Former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s government was threatened by impeachment in the first term, but Chaponda said the party feels safer now ‘than ever.’
“We know that we are short in numbers, but we have been in talks with other political parties so that we can work together in the House to best implement government agenda,” said Chaponda.
He added that some parties have already displayed willingness to work with the DPP-led government.
Chaponda said DPP “can never be threatened as Standing Orders the House will use have no impeachment procedures.”
But when quizzed on whether the House is ready to use the new Standing Orders that include impeachment provisions as Parliament sits this Monday, Clerk of Parliament Roosevelt Gondwe said in a separate interview: “I am not certain that the Standing Orders that were adopted last year in November will be used as Parliament convenes on Monday. This is so because the House will have new MPs in this particular session who didn’t participate in the review process.
“This, according to the standard practice of the House, is unacceptable. As such, the revised Standing Orders are first to be scrutinised by relevant committees before being adopted in the House.”
Gondwe, however, said it would be up to the new Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs to decide on the Standing Orders the House would be comfortable with.