The president of the main opposition party in Malawi, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), DR Lazarus Chakwera has spoken out on the of the Brexit from European Union.
Chakwera said that the twenty first century should be a century of closer ties and collaboration between nations, because nations are stronger, safer, and more prosperous when their ties are stronger than when they are weaker. He regard the UK’s decision to leave the EU as a blow not just to its thriving partnership with Europe, but also with the rest of the world.
He continued saying that the manner in which the British have conducted this referendum and the rigorous debate that preceded it are worthy of applause and imitation as shining examples of a functioning democracy at work, with no one attempting to usurp the functions of the electoral authorities by the use of bogus court injuctions and backdoor decisions made and announced in the middle of the night while voters slept.
“The outcome of the vote is particularly instructive for an electoral system like ours, which sadly still does not require a proper majority in elections in order for the winning camp to have a credible mandate, without which the business of governing becomes an isolated exercise in which most of the population do not participate in between elections”, he said.
Dr Chakwera further said he admires the model of servant-leadership of the ex-prime minister, Mr. David Cameron’s decision not only to let the people have a say in the future of their nation, but to also step down as Prime Minister out of his respect for their fundamental disagreement with his impassioned appeals for Britain to remain in the EU.
“The people did not ask him to resign, but he has done so out of his conviction of what is in the best interest of the country as a whole”, said Chakwera.
“The wisdom to see that you are not the best person for the job, even when no one else sees it, and to voluntarily step aside for others to lead better than you can is not only very hard to come by, but a refreshing departure from the “I am-the-country’s-only-hope” hero-worshiping mindset that shackles many democratic governments and political parties all over the world”, he said.
He lastly said this referendum and the seismic changes it will bring underscore one of the most fundamental realities of democracy: Democracy is only as good as the quality of information and motivations driving the decisions of the people voting.
“If the people in the voting booth are fed with propaganda rather than facts, and the people campaigning appeal to the voters’ fear of losing their valuables rather than to their hope of expressing their values, then democracy can become a nation’s undoing. Democracy is a beautiful and sharp knife which does wonders in the kitchen if placed in the hands of the mature and trained, but causes harm when wielded by the misinformed and disenfranchised. Therefore, here in Malawi, we must work hard to not only increase the quantity of voter registrations, but to also educate and prosper our citizens in order to raise the quality of the voting itself. Better voters elect better governors”, he concluded.
The opposition leader urged all Malawians to support him when he is leading the Malawi Congress Party and other opposition parties in lobbying for better legislation to regulate the country’s future elections in a manner that will make our democracy more worthy of our pride and of the world’s praise than it was in the last election. That’s to make a better and prosperous Malawi.