12 April 2018

Malawi: DPP Top Brass Rally Behind Mutharika for Another Term - Msaka Says Malawi VP Chilima Not Automatic Running Mate

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass says it is committed to promoting democracy by allowing people in the party to express their views on matters to do with the running of the party but they are throwing their weight behind President Peter Mutharika to remain the party's torch bearer in the next elections.

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi who is also government spokesperson said this Thursday during a news conference at the DPP's Headquarters in Lilongwe as he made clarification on the sentiments made by former First Lady, Callista Mutharika who has openly declared her support for the Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima to stand as DPP Presidential Candidate during the 2019 tripartite elections.

Dausi said the sentiments by Madame Mutharika have not created any divisions in DPP as some quarters are made to believe, saying the party still remained strong and united at all its party structures.

"There are no divisions at all in the ruling DPP following what the former First Lady expressed in the media. We believe as a party, Madame Callista Mutharika was merely expressing her personal opinion on the party's presidential candidate for next year's elections and that is what we call democracy," said Dausi.

The Minister said what entails true democracy is to allow people express their different and diverse views, observing that what Callista Mutharika said in her sentiments was simply practicing such a democratic principle.

"The sentiments made by Madame Callista Mutharika were her personal views and she has the right to her opinion. The Constitution of the country allows people to exercise their right to freedom of expression," Dausi clarified.

In his remarks Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka who is also DPP's Vice President for Eastern Region said the membership of the party will endorse President Peter Mutharika as the 2019 presidential candidate for the tripartite elections.

"As for who will be the running mate of the president that is the prerogative of the president himself and even if you asked him he wouldn't disclose it to you because he would want to keep that close to his chest," said Msaka.

He said people in rural areas have expressed interest to support the incumbent President Prof. Peter Mutharika to stand in 2019 Presidential race because of the development projects that have already taken place in the country.

Dausi also confirmed that Chilima is not an automatic running mate and that President Mutharika as presidential candidate will have the prerogative to pick his preferred choice, either to maintain Chilima or get another person.

The news conference which followed another one that was conducted by DPP women at the same venue was also attended by the part's vice president for the South Dr George Chaponda, DPP Regional Governor for the Centre. Binton Kutsaira and Dr Hetherwick Ntaba, DPP Vice president for the Centre.

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