Malawi All-Party Group re-convenes

12 Feb 2020

 

The UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malawi has been formally re-constituted for this new Parliament.

The Group met and held its AGM on Monday 10th February, with ten MPs and Peers with an interest in Malawi coming together to elect position-holders for the Group. 

While the Group is open to all MPs and Peers across the UK, there is a particularly large number of Scottish Parliamentarians given the strength of the Scotland-Malawi relationship.  All ten MPs and Peers attending the Group’s AGM were from Scotland.

Patrick Grady MP (SNP) and Lord McConnell (Lab) were re-elected Hon. President and Chair of the Group, respectively.

Five Co-Vice Chairs were elected: Margaret Ferrier MP (SNP), Rt Hon. David Mundell MP (Cons), Kate Osamor MP (Lab), Jim Shannon MP (DUP) and Lord Steel of Aikwood (Lib Dem).  And Marion Fellows MP (SNP) was elected the Treasurer of the APPG.

David Hope-Jones was re-elected as the Secretariat for the Group, a service offered by the SMP, as we do for the Malawi Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament.  The cost of the SMP’s Secretariat support is met from the Partnership’s own unrestricted funds (membership fees, donations, etc), rather than from the core grant received from the Scottish Government. 

The SMP remains politically neutral and independent of government but we continue to support our members work by actively encouraging continued all-party support for Scotland’s friendship with Malawi.

Click here for further details on the Malawi APPG, including its members, past activities and priorities for this Parliament.

 

Updates were given in the 10th February meeting on recent and forthcoming Parliamentary visits to and from Malawi, and the SMP briefed MPs on civic Malawi links across all 59 Scottish Westminster constituencies.

Dr Fidelis Edge Kanyongolo, an internationally respected and politically neutral Malawian legal and constitutional expert, briefed the Group by teleconference from Malawi on the current political and constitutional situation in Malawi, in which the previous week’s Constitutional Court ruling annulled the May 2019 Presidential election, calling for fresh elections within 150 days.  

The Group noted its solidarity with and support for Malawi -its people, government, parliament and judiciary- as it navigates these challenging times. The Group hoped there would continue to be peaceful adherence to the rule of law, as democratic and governance systems are further strengthened in the coming months and years.  The Group remains alert to opportunities to work with Malawi as it continues this process, while respecting that this is primarily a domestic matter.