Parliament asks for retraction of Nyasatimes electoral reforms story

Lilongwe, Malawi Parliament has asked Nyasatimes, an online publication, to retract a story it published on Monday, November, 27 in which it alleged that the Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, is opposed to the tabling of the Electoral Reforms Bill during the current sitting of parliament.

Parliament Deputy Clerk, Leonard Mengezi, told a team of journalists on Tuesday in Lilongwe that the story was damaging to the image of Parliament and the Speaker, saying there are certain procedures to be followed for a bill to be debated in parliament and that the speaker has not commented on the bill.

The truth of the matter is that the Right Honourable Speaker has neither commented on this issue in the context suggested in the article, nor been interviewed by the writer on Electoral Reforms Bill.

The office of the speaker strongly condemns this unethical reporting and humbly requests complete retraction of the news article from the website and from any other publication that such an article has been sent, said Mengezi.

This comes at a time the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is pressing the government to table the Electoral Reforms Bill during the current sitting of Parliament.

Among the contentious issues in the bill is that the presidential candidate will have to win by at least 50 per cent of all votes cast. This is unlike the current first past the post system in which a presidential candidate can be elected president with a simple majority.

The Public Affairs Committee presented a petition to Parliament on Friday last week asking government to table the Electoral Reforms Bill during the current sitting of Parliament.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA