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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LILONGWE614
2005-07-20 11:36:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

GOVERNMENT PASSES OPPOSITION TEST IN PARLIAMENT

Tags:   KCOR  KDEM  PGOV  PREL  MI 
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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
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