Catholics parliamentary audit reveals Malawi in de factoone party state

malawi_map.jpegA parliamentary audit done by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of the Roman Catholic Church has revealed that numerical strength of ruling DPP is threat to checks and balances.

CCJP National Coordinator, Chris Chisoni said there is fear that DPP will be abusing its numbers since all parliamentary committees are being let by chairpersons form the governing party. The study also finds out that opposition lawmakers have abdicated their role of providing checks and balances following the dominance of DPP.

The composition of the members of opposition in parliament seems to adopt an abdicating role due to the overwhelming numbers of DPP in parliament, Chisoni said.

They need to find other alternative way of contributing to parliament to influence parliamentary debate, he told Zodiak radio.

He also said CCJP has noted with concern the fast-track process of approving bills in parliament without proper consultations and scrutiny.

Recently, parliament approved a constitutional amendment bill allowing girls to marry at the age of 16 with concert from parents.

The bill which was moved by Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Pro Peter Mutharika generated controversy and opposition from the public, civil society and the media until President Bingu wa Mutharika refused to assent it into law.

On the other hand we are noting that the speed that is being taken to deal with bills probably does not provide enough space of scrutiny of parliamentary business, said CCJP coordinator.

The Catholic Commission also notes that the countrys civil society has been largely watching events as spectators.

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