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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LILONGWE634
2005-07-26 13:27:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

PARLIAMENT ADJOURNS; IMPEACHMENT MOTIONS PUT OFF

Tags:   KDEM  PGOV  PINR  PREL  TBIO  MI 
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						UNCLAS LILONGWE 000634 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S, INR/AA
MCC FOR KEVIN SABA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2015
TAGS: KDEM PGOV PINR PREL TBIO MI
SUBJECT: PARLIAMENT ADJOURNS; IMPEACHMENT MOTIONS PUT OFF

REF: A. LILONGWE 508

B. LILONGWE 614

C. LILONGWE 540



1. SUMMARY: (U) Parliament adjourned Thursday July 22 after
passing the 2005/06 budget, electing a new Speaker, and
addressing other legislative issues. Parliament did not,
however, address the impeachment procedure bill that had been
tabled before the they temporarily adjourned on June 23
(Reftel C). They are expected to bring the procedural bill
back up at their next sitting in September, though the
likelihood of an actual impeachment motion being proposed in
the future remains unclear. END SUMMARY.



2. (SBU) Member of Parliament Louis Chimango sat for the
first time as Speaker on Monday July 18, after being
unanimously elected to the position. Chimango is a member of
the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and has been a
Parliamentarian since 1978. Educated in the U.K., Chimango
has previously served as Minister of Health, Minister of
Finance, and Minister of Education and Culture among other
roles. He was a close friend of the late Hastings Banda, and
is well respected by most MPs. (COMMENT) Post believes
Chimango will not seek reelection, and this will be his last
role in government.



3. (U) Parliament spent the week of July 18 addressing
legislative bills centered on updating Malawi's taxation and
procurement laws, bringing them in line with international
standards. For example, they passed a bill changing the name
of the sales tax to "Value Added Tax". The impeachment
procedures bill was also referred back to the legislative
affairs committee of Parliament. It is expected to be
brought up at the next session of Parliament in September.



4. (SBU) Comment: Parliament will likely pass the bill
putting in place the Presidential and Vice-presidential
impeachment procedures when they next meet. The procedural
bill only needs a simple majority to pass, which the
opposition parties should easily muster. However, a motion
to then actually impeach the President is a different issue,
and seems unlikely to pass even if it were put forward.
Constitutionally, a/n impeachment motion would require
two-thirds majority in Parliament, which it is fairly clear
the opposition cannot get (Reftel B). Without enough support
in Parliament, the specter of an impeachment bill might die a
natural death.
CLOUD