Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) says it feels encouraged with government’s positive reception towards the development processes of the Political Parties Bill.
CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani said this in Blantyre yesterday during a media sensitisation on the review, underway, of the 1993 Political Party (Registration and Regulation) Act.
In the past years, CMD has been championing the review of the law and the work of the review has culminated into a draft bill that seeks to repeal the current Act and replace it with a Political Parties Act.
Tenthani told journalists that his institution has already engaged Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu and the reception, so far, has been encouraging.
“They have shown the willingness and, actually, what they are waiting for is for to give them the bill so that they can go through it and give us feedback,” said Tenthani, adding: “We expect to present them with the bill in the next three weeks.”
He added that currently the bill is still at the consultation stage and they are only remaining with few stakeholders to finalise.
The bill, generally, seeks to address the challenges faced when regulating the registration, financing and functioning of the party.
Among other changes, the bill proposes the establishment of the office of the Registrar of Political Parties which shall be a public—to mean, those willing to register should no longer register with the office of the Registrar General as currently, the case. Further on the registration, the bill also provides that those willing to register a party should, as a condition, seek signatures of not less than 20 persons in each districts of Malawi who are eligible to vote and such people should be authenticated by the district commissioners.
On political party financing, the bill provides for strict transparency and accountability measures on how political parties that receive State funding should operate. It also provides for political parties to disclose their private sources of financing.