President & MPs Should Have Minimum Qualifications – Daniel Shumba

President of the Democratic Alliance, Daniel Shumba said that it is imperative to come up with minimum qualifications for both the President and Members on Parliament. This could be considered discriminatory but is important in raising the quality of debates. Said Shumba:

Prescription of qualifications for MP’s and President would prevent downscaling the role of Parliament. It’s important in upping the quality of debates, conduct, and broader appreciation of issues of governance. But is it not discriminatory and unconstitutional?

The Zimbabwe electoral system of First Past the Post contradicts this the tenets of this noble desire. The contest is about popularity with no semblance of the values or task at hand. The roles of the elected members are much more complex for not so equipped or experienced.

To cure this misnomer without infringement on the rights of voters or being discriminatory, i propose we introduce the Proportional Representation electoral system with Party lists. Political parties would use internal mechanisms to ensure qualified candidates on their lists.

The Party lists though the Proportional Representation system is already commonly used worldwide including South Africa, the EU Parliament, and elsewhere. Voters vote for the Party only with parties contributing candidates from their lists according to the percentage of the vote.

That will be for each Party to undertake. It maybe interviews of applicants at the local level or remove of Parliamentary constituencies, Local government Councils would operate at the local level. Devolution would be achieved too.

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