The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Monday demanded the presence of President Peter Mutharika in parliament during the opening of the 2019/2020 National Budget Session, arguing his absence was against accountability politics.
Standing on point order, leader of opposition Lobin Lowe said Mutharika needed to be in the House to address the nation as part of accountability politics to oblige to the law requirement citing standing order 200 which partly reads: “Immediately before the consideration of the national budget the president shall attend Parliament and address the assembly on the state of the nation and policies of the government.”
Responding, Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara said there was nothing out of order because the president already addressed the nation during the opening of the 48th session.
Ironically, the same MCP parliamentarians booed and marched out of the House when Mutharika was delivering his State of the Nation Address (Sona) at the opening of the 1st meeting of the 48th session of parliament.
Meanwhile, some political commentators have branded Lowe’s demand to have Mutharika in the parliament as hypocritical, considering the behaviour that was displayed by the opposition lawmakers during the first meeting.