Many supporters of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have been left confused regarding the resignation of party President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera as leader of opposition in Parliament.
Dr Chakwera who recently submitted his nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to run for Presidency in the 2019 Tripartite Elections wit Sidik Mia as his running mate, will not be a part of the Mid-Year Budget Review Meeting in Parliament.
His resignation as Member of Parliament for Lilongwe North West means he has also effectively resigned as leader of opposition as per Section 80 (7)(e) of the constitution which reads: “No person shall be eligible for election as President or First Vice-President or for appointment as First-Vice President or Second-Vice President if that person is a holder of a public office or a member of Parliament unless that person resigns.”
Once Parliament resumes, a new leader of opposition will have to be chosen for the Meed Year Budget Review Meeting before parliament is dissolved on March 20, 2019 in readiness for the elections.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Richard Msowoya, has criticized MEC’s decision to receive nomination papers from candidates before the dissolution of parliament saying this has created an awkward situation.