|AS Malawi gears up to go to what many are calling the closest electoral race in its history, a new report entitled: “Malawi- Political Participation and Democracy,” has pointed to the missed opportunity for electoral reforms in the country.
It states that the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system does not appear to be serving Malawi well. And ‘losers’ have ended up being crowned ‘winners’ in general elections.
Currently Malawi’s electoral rules states that any person vying for political office is deemed the winner based on a simple majority.In essence, one can be a winner of an election without a mandate, as was the case in 1994 with former president Muluzi, who received only 47% of the vote.
Ten years later this trend was repeated by late Bingu wa Mutharika, who garnered only 36% of the vote, yet still went on to be president, (although in 2009 Mutharika had 66% of the vote). In essence 64% of electorates rejected him, but because of the FPTP system, he ended up being at the helm of government. Continue reading