Ninteen independent Members of the Malawi Parliament (MPs) on Monday defected to join the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya made the announcement when the House resumed sitting following a weekend recess.
The Members of Parliament that have defected according to Msowoya are: Peter Hamiton Bvalani MP for Zomba Likangala, Daudi Abiyani Chida MP for Mulanje Limburi, Abdul Rashid Gaffer MP for Blantyre Kabula, Sam Ganda MP for Nsanje Lalanje, Willet Karonga MP for Chiradzulu North, Gabu Bob Khamisa MP for Thyolo Central.
Mary Maulidi Khembo MP for Neno South, Naomi Maleso Akilekwa Phiri MP for Mulanje South East, Mary Connic Livuza Mpanda MP for Mphalombe South, Emmanuel Hirario Lozo MP for Neno North, Amos Mailosi MP for Mphalombe East.
Victor Musowa MP for Mulanje Bale, Aboo McNice Naliwa MP for Zomba Nsondole, Dennis Namachekecha MP for Mphalombe North-East, Allan Ngumuya MP for Blantyre City South, Muhammad Hanis Osman MP for Chiradzulu Central, McJay Salijeni MP for Thyolo South, Rodger Sithole MP for Kasungu North-North East and Lyana Lexa Tambala MP for Mulanje North.
The concerned members have since been allocated seats on the government side.
The defection of the 19 means that now the DPP has 69 seats while the MCP has 52 following also the defection of four independents, while the former ruling People’s Party (PP) has 26, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has 14, and one apiece for Alliance for Democracy and Chipani ChaPfuko.
The four who joined the MCP are Collins Kajawa for Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma, Peter Chakwantha for Lilongwe South West, Peter Dimba for Lilongwe South and Elias Chakwera for Dowa Ngala.