Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three DDP MPs set to join Aford

By Nyasa Times Published: April 29, 2010

Three suspended ruling DPP Northern Region Members of Parliament suspended in February 2009 after they refused to apologize to the party for criticising the discriminatory education quota system are set to join Alliance for Democracy (Aford) party.

The three are Christopher Ngwira of Mzimba Hora, Mzimba Luwerezi parliamentarian Bofomo Nyirenda and Ackim Mwanza of Mzimba Solora constituency.

The MPs were suspended after they voiced their views against the controversial directive by President Bingu wa Mutharika to impose the infamous quota system of university selection.

The three parliamentarians suggested that the quota system should also be applied to the country's presidency so that leaders from the North should also be accommodated.

The Nation newspaper recently quoted the DPP second vice-president Khumbo Kachali  saying of the MP for Mzimba Hora asked the party to allow them meet Mutharika who is the DPP president.

Kachali said the party administrative machinery was working on the matter and a decision would be communicated.

But speaking on Capital Radio News Talk programme on Wednesday night, Johnstone Langa, who is the spokesman of Aford said the MPs had already finalised talks with the party on the way forward.

However, Khwauli Msiska who is the party's secretary general was quick to point out that it was up to the three MPs to announce their resignation from the DPP.

A law expert at the University of Malawi, Edge Kanyongolo (pictured), said DPP could have offered the MPs a right to be heard as what the Constitution of the country stipulates.

"At the minimum, if they were alleged to be in the wrong, the party should have given them the right to be heard," he said.

Kanyongolo said the MPs had a bright future if they were sticking to the wishes of their constituents.

"Any wise politician should probably be given priority to the interest and the needs of the constituents. I would suggest that in a democracy, I think the priority should go to what the constituents are saying. I don't think it's just a matter of democracy, I also think it's a matter of pragmatism," he said.

"I think it's a matter of principle as well as pragmatic decision making."

The law expert added: "If political parties become increasingly intolerant of dissenting views, it spells doom of the country's democracy. It' terribly bad sign for the future.

"What matters in terms of the election is what the constituents say. Ultimately their future lies in the hands of the constituents other than their political parties," he said.

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Source: Malawi news | NyasaTimes breaking online news source from Malaw


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