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Membership organization principally for political parties who are represented in the National Assembly

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Background

Political parties under the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) have been championing the review of the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act since 2010. Through the years, CMD has held wide consultations with civil society organizations, faith based organizations, the media, traditional leaders and regional and district structures of political parties. CMD has also had numerous interactions with the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament.

Progress to Date

In August 2013, CMD came up with a Technical Working Group comprising a representative from the Ministry of Justice, representative from the Law Commission, the Law Society, the Registrar of Political Parties and the University of Malawi, Faculty of Law. The Technical Working Group came up with a draft bill that was further interrogated by different stakeholders including the political parties themselves, the Legal Affairs Committee, the civil society organization but also the Anti - Corruption Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

In January 2016, Secretaries General of political parties represented in the National Assembly reached a broad consensus on the content of the proposed bill. On the 21st of January the CMD presented the draft bill to His Excellency the State President, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who is also President of the DPP. CMD then presented the draft bill to Rt. Hon. Chakwera, Leader of Opposition and President of the MCP; Hon. Atupele Muluzi, President of the UDF; Hon. Uladi Mussa, Acting President of the PP and Hon.Enock Chihana, President of AFORD. All these leaders pledged their support for the bill. CMD then formally presented the bill to the Ministry of Justice on the 22nd of January, 2016 through the office of the Solicitor General.

The Essence of the Bill

Political parties in CMD hold the view that this bill will go a long way in consolidating multiparty democracy through having political parties that are stronger, better regulated and playing the roles meant to be played by political parties. Apart from encouraging parties to become more vibrant and more relevant, the bill also proposes to enhance intra party democracy. Further, the bill proposes to encourage transparency and accountability of political parties, not only to their members, but to the general public. This transparency includes disclosure of private financing.

The Roadmap towards tabling of the Bill in the National Assembly

Political parties in CMD expected that the bill would be presented in the national assembly during the last Budget Sitting of Parliament. Noting that this did not happen, political parties sought to have an audience with the Honourable Minister of Justice, Samuel Tembenu, SC to discuss the prospects of the bill and the way forward. The meeting took place on the 23rd of August, at the Ministry of Justice. The following people were in attendance from the CMD delegation:

Party

Name

Designation

AFORD

Christopher Edward Ritchie

Secretary General

DPP

Grace Obama Chiumia

Deputy Secretary General

DPP

Charles Mhango

Director of Legal Affairs

MCP

Gustave Kaliwo

Secretary General

PP

Ibrahim Matola

Secretary General, Chair of CMD

UDF

Kandi Padambo

Secretary General

In   Attendance

   

CMD Secretariat

Daniel Dawa

Finance Manager

 

Kizito Tenthani

Executive Director

The Minister of Justice was accompanied by the Solicitor General, Dr. Janet Banda, SC, and Mr. Kelious Mlenga, Assistant Chief Legislative Council.

The Minister of Justice made a commitment that the Bill will be presented to the National Assembly at the next sitting of Parliament (scheduled for November, 2016). Towards that end, the following roadmap was agreed:

-          The Ministry of Justice will finalize processing the bill by the 2nd of September, 2016.

-          A joint meeting between CMD and the Minister of Justice is scheduled for the 8th of September for final clearance of the bill before the Minister takes the bill to the Cabinet sub -committee and full cabinet.

-          The bill is scheduled to be published by the 1st of October, 2016 in readiness for the tabling in the National Assembly.

Latest News

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