US embassy cable - 05LILONGWE614

GOVERNMENT PASSES OPPOSITION TEST IN PARLIAMENT

Identifier: 05LILONGWE614
Wikileaks: View 05LILONGWE614 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Lilongwe
Created: 2005-07-20 11:36:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KCOR KDEM PGOV PREL MI Political Parliament
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
UNCLAS LILONGWE 000614 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR AF/S, INR/AA 
MCC FOR KEVIN SABA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/20/2010 
TAGS: KCOR, KDEM, PGOV, PREL, MI, Political, Parliament 
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT PASSES OPPOSITION TEST IN PARLIAMENT 
 
REF: LILONGWE 000364 
 
Classified By: CDA M. Lewellen for reasons 1.4 b and d 
 
1. (SBU) A controversial constitutional ammendment (reftel) 
supported by the full force of both opposition parties was 
rejected in Parliament on July 19th.  The bill would have 
forced MPs who change parties to give up their seats in 
Parliament.  The bill had the full support of the opposition, 
and probably garnered more support than an impeachment motion 
might, yet still failed to get the two-thirds majority 
required to pass. 
 
2. (U) The opposition-sponsored bill needed 124 votes to 
pass, but only received 111 votes.  This is despite support 
from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democtratic 
Front (UDF), and a number of independents who usually do not 
vote with the opposition.  The bill was specifically aimed at 
stopping MPs from defecting from existing parties to join the 
President's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). 
 
3. (SBU) Comment: This has to be considered a good sign for 
the President, as it shows the difficulty the opposition has 
in getting a two-thirds majority in parliament, such as would 
be needed for an impeachment motion.  However, the MCP and 
UDF can still combine to muster a simple majority, which is 
all that's needed for most motions.  While it appears that 
they won't be able to impeach the President, they are sure to 
continue to make business difficult for him and his 
government. 
LEWELLEN 

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