As a supersonic drama flow continues in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), DPP legislator for Blantyre City South Noel Lipipa said he is contemplating to write Attorney General to seek legal views on who is supposed to choose leader of Opposition.
Lipipa writing on his Facebook page today, said he absconded to participate in so “called” election, citing legality of the election.
“This morning I chose not to participate in the so called “Election” of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Leader of Opposition in Parliament, for the very simple reason:
The Parliamentary Standing Order 35 (1) reads “the leader of opposition shall be elected by the party not in government having the greatest numerical strength in parliament at any point in time and officially announced as such by the speaker.”
Parliamentary Standing Order 36 reads “the leader of opposition may only be removed by the party that elected him or her.”
According to Lipipa, a “party” as defined in the parliamentary standings order is not the 47 MPs who have participated in today’s poll.
Lipipa added: “As such, the ‘Party’ is not the 47 MPs who purportedly participated in a Comedy of Errors. The Party is structured and Prof. Peter Mutharika remains the president of our party, therefore, the authority to appoint Hon, Kasaila is in order.”
He further blamed the Deputy speaker of Parliament, Madalitso Kazombo for using a wrong standing order in coming up with his ruling yesterday. Lipipa said he will not be part of such an error at law and that he will be writing for Attorney General for a legal guidance.
“I may consider writing the Attorney General for an opinion.
We are always encouraged as leaders to follow the law, because the law is the law. Dura Lex sed lex (even though its harsh but it’s the law).
The presiding speaker yesterday, should have consulted on the precedence and repercussions of using wrong standing orders; I cannot and will not be party to such miscarriage,” Lipipa contended.
Lipipa’s opinion is concurring with that of Lilongwe South Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MP Peter Dimba who also shared the same sentiment via his Facebook page that indeed the power to elect leader of Opposition lies in the Party president, that is Peter Mutharika.
Dimba wrote: “The debacle on election of Leader of Opposition is far from over. Standing order 35 is very clear that the Leader of Opposition shall be elected by the Party (largest in opposition)
and in my view, ‘the Party’ is not members of Parliament. APM is still in charge of DPP. The decision that he and the party’s politburo made and communicated to the Speaker regarding the replacement of Nankhumwa by Kasaila is very legitimate. Wishing them a fierce fight.”
DPP president Peter Mutharika wrote the Speaker of Parliament yesterday on his choice of Francis Kasaila as the new leader of Opposition, replacing Nankhumwa.
However, things went sour after DPP MP for Mulanje West rose up in Parliament on a point of order challenging the choice of Kasaila.
Nankhumwa fallen short of glory after he allegedly accused of doing things in the party without Mutharika’s consent like that of meeting with MCP members, among others.
However, the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara is yet to hammer on the election of Nankhumwa as leader of Opposition.