Friday June 20 2014

Parliament forces Malawi President to name ministers


Blantyre- Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika was forced to name part of his 20-member Cabinet after Parliament suspended deliberations demanding that the Leader of Government Business must be a Cabinet minister as stipulated in parliamentary standing orders.

President Mutharika responded to the parliamentary demand by appointing nine more ministers to his Cabinet.

The ministers appointed will also form part of the parliamentary leadership on the government side including Leader of Government Business and the ruling party whips.

On top of the minister of Finance who Mutharika appointed soon after taking over power, the President has now appointed nine other people to head the ministries of Information, Health, Education.

Agriculture, Sports, Justice, Labour, Foreign Affairs and Transport - bringing the number of Cabinet ministers so far appointed to 10.

Appointee rejected
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party had appointed a senior member of the party, who is also a member of Parliament, to temporarily act as Leader of Government Business in Parliament and to initiate deliberations in the House.

However, opposition MPs called for the adjournment of the Parliament because, in their view, there was no point of continuing with deliberations in the House as the said leader was not a Cabinet minister.

One MP even accused Mutharika of prioritising non-state matters, referring to the President’s wedding that is to take place on Saturday.

The Office of the President has since announced that the remaining 10 ministries will be filled by the end of this week.