Speaker Gotani Hara Speaks Out On Presidential Age Limit Bill

Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara says the Business Committee of Parliament has not discussed and approved the tabling of a motion on the Age Limit Bill.

She was reacting to a concern by Ben Phiri Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament for Thyolo Central.

Phiri sought clarity as to why the motion on the Age Limit Bill was submitted to the Business Committee before being submitted to the party leadership in the House.

However, the Speaker said the motion was rejected last week by the Business Committee hence there should be no fuss.

On Wednesday, Parliament adjourned following a physical battle that ensued between Independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Zomba Chisi Mark Botomani and DPP’s lawmaker for Blantyre City South East Sameer Suleman over the age bill.

The noise from the opposition bench in the Parliament, according to social and main media reports, escalated into a physical battle despite the second Deputy Speaker Aisha Adam’s efforts to defuse it.

According to the reports, the misunderstanding between the two ensued following social media reports that member for Chitipa South Welani Chilenga was planning to move a motion on age limit.

The Bill is expected to prescribe a maximum age limit for persons to be qualified for nomination into the Office of the State President, First Vice-President and/or Second Vice-President as well as a member of Parliament, by amending section 80 6(b) of the Constitution for the Presidency and Section 51(1) for a member of Parliament respectively.

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