16 May 2018

Malawi: Come Out in the Open for the Presidency - DPP

Photo: Cia Pak/UN Photo
Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session. (file photo).

Lilongwe — Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has challenged people seeking to run for the party's presidency in the 2019 General Elections to come out in the open and tender their candidature.

DPP Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffery made the challenge Wednesday at Golden Peacock Hotel during a press briefing in response to a question that reflected on DPP's division regarding the presidential candidate they woudl field during the 2019 polls.

She said the party believes that if there is anyone wishing to challenge the current party president, Prof. Peter Mutharika, at their forthcoming convention, they should feel free to do so.

The Secretary General who is also Member of Parliament for Nkokotakota South Constituency pointed out that the aspirants need to follow proper party procedures in order to be considered in the race and not through social media and other media outlets.

She said currently, DPP Members of Parliament have issued a communique in support of president Mutharika's candidature for the ruling DPP in 2019 elections but also pointed out that there is a group of people within the party that is agitating the candidature of the current vice president, to run for the presidency.

"There has been a lot of talk about DPP's presidential torch bearer for 2019 and some people want the party to field a different candidate but they are not coming out clearly," Jeffery stated.

The SG explained that the party wishes those behind the movement to come out in the open and officially present their candidate to the party and Malawians.

"If the aspirant for the presidency is not saying anything regarding the proposal it means he is the one behind the talk and he is using certain individuals to speak on his behalf. This is not a good development for the party. If he is interested, let him notify the party about his candidature and so that proper procedures should be followed for him to contest," she said.

Jeffrey said most of the DDP Members of Parliament, except for a very few have relayed their support for Mutharika in 2019 but the party's convention would decide who to take the party forward.

She pointed out that Mutharika has a constitution mandate to run the country for two terms and the party's constitution has a provision for him to seek re-election and represent the party in the next year's elections.

Taking her turn, Blantyre North East Constituency MP, Cecilia Chazama said DPP is a democratic party where its leadership would be drawn from the national convention to be conducted soon.

She added that MPs have agreed to endorse Mutharika for the 2019 polls because of his commitment to the country's development agenda and keeping the Party intact.

"Mutharika has done a lot in the country and we wish him to continue implementing his plans for the country and that is why all the MPs have endorsed him as our presidential candidate," Chazama, who is also Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security noted.

On her part, Phalombe North MP, Anna Kachikho said Phalombe as a district has developed for the better with a rural growth centre under construction which was initiated by the President.

She said people of Phalombe would like Mutharika to continue running the affairs of the country because they are assured of continued development projects in their areas.

Kachikho, who is also Minister of Lands, Housings and Urban Development said people of Phalombe are happy with Mutharika's development agenda and will continue to support him fulfil his plans.

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