Lilongwe: Forum for National Development (FND) has given the Speaker of the National Assembly, Richard Msowoya, a seven day ultimatum to resign from his position or face unspecified action for flouting the country’s constitution on Section 65 (1).
The section gives power to the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare vacant a seat of any member of the National Assembly who has voluntarily resigned from his or her political party and joined another party represented in the National Assembly or has joined any other political party or association whose objectives are political in nature.
FND Coordinator, Fryson Chodzi told members of the press in Lilongwe on Tuesday that it would be difficult for the speaker to give a fair judgment on those deemed to have crossed the floor when he himself has flouted the constitutional provision.
He said the speakers action has put the Malawi Constitution in a crisis and have shown that he has lost legal authority to lead the National Assembly by flouting the Constitutional provision.
The speaker has put his office into disrepute and in a quandary to make a determination for those deemed to have crossed the floor as such a determination affects his position as well. Our calls are being made so that parliament can appoint another person who can preside over and make determination on Section 65 (1) of the Malawi Constitution, he said.
Recently the speaker announced that he has resigned from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and has joined the newly launched United Transformation Movement (UTM).
Chodzi said by voluntarily resigning from MCP and joining the UTM the incumbent has crossed the floor which is against Section 65 (1) of the Malawi Constitution.
He said the call for the speaker’s resignation is not political but a legal call that would ensure that constitutional order is restored.
The organisation has since threatened that it will take action should Msowoya fail to resign within the stipulated time. However, he did not specify what actions they will take to force the speaker to step down.
If the speaker does not heed our calls for resignation, he leaves us with no choice but to commence appropriate actions to uphold the constitution. Strategies have already been put in place to bring constitutional order, he said.
FND has since called upon all political parties represented in parliament to help in restoring constitutional order by among other things petitioning the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly to revoke Section 65 (1) on any Member of Parliament (MP) who has crossed the floor saying this will demonstrate that the law makers are willing to uphold the laws of the land regardless of circumstances.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA